Environment and health consultancy Ramboll Environ has been appointed by SP Energy Networks as planning compliance officer for its Southwest Scotland Connections Project.
The project includes the development of a number of new overhead transmission lines and underground cables, with associated substation works, required to connect six wind farms to the electricity network.
The geographic area on the borders of East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, and Dumfries & Galloway is sparsely populated but rich in natural wind and hydro resources.
It has therefore attracted interest from developers wishing to connect significant renewable generation to the transmission system. As the existing network does not have sufficient capacity to cope with the level of demand, a new transmission network is required.
Ramboll Environ’s role is to ensure compliance with all relevant conditions of the deemed planning consent agreed by the local planning authorities in East Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway when the Scottish Minister’s granted consent.
Planning permission for the following overhead line elements was granted in 2014. Work starts this year, with completion set for 2016-17:
- Construction of a new overhead line between New Cumnock Substation, 3km east of Dalmellington, and the new substation planned at Blackhill, situated approximately 1.7km west of Afton reservoir.
- A new Glenglass substation, located west of Sanquhar, that will connect to Blackhill Substation via an overhead line approximately 13km long on 70 towers.
- A 132kV wood pole overhead line and comprises 138 poles, approximately 10.6km in length, between Dersalloch wind farm and New Cumnock substation. (The eastern end of the line will be located underground.)
Ramboll Environ has previously been appointed by SPEN on the Beauly Denny 400 kV upgrade as independent environmental contractor and now has more than four years’ experience working on the SHE Transmission and SPEN sections of the Beauly Denny project, including auditing Scottish Woodlands, Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions and Babcock sites.