Scotland’s first new power conductor in almost 30 years goes live

Scotland's first new power conductor in 30 years helps meet energy targets and was also first 3M ACCR installation in Scotland
Scotland’s first new power conductor in 30 years helps meet energy targets and was also first 3M ACCR installation in Scotland

3M, the science-based technology company, and Scottish Power have installed and energised the first new live electricity conductor in Scotland in almost 30 years. 

The 275kV single conductor doubles the available power capacity without making major changes to the existing electricity network between Coylton and Mark Hill in South Ayrshire.  Via a sub-sea cable, the ACCR conductor enables Scottish Power to bring power from its local offshore wind generation plant.

The project is part of Scottish Power’s RIIO targets, which included a forecast of 2.5GW generation connected to the network by 2021, a target which at 4.9GW has already been exceeded.  Using the award-winning ACCR from 3M, Scottish Power can meet its Baseline Shared Use Infrastructure (BSHE) target of 1,073MVA by the end of 2016.

Richard Wylie, Lead Design Engineer, Overhead Lines, at Scottish Power’s transmission division, explained: “Using ACCR meant that we could double the ampacity using the existing tower infrastructure and manage sag resulting from higher temperatures caused by increased power. 

“This approach removed the need to carry out extensive new infrastructure developing, so the impact on the local community and environment has been minimised and without the delays that civil engineering permissions and rights-of-way would traditionally involve.

The project involved close collaboration between Scottish Power Energy Networks, contractor Balfour Beatty and 3M and was completed in just three months, against the predicted timescale of eight months, despite the challenges of a remote, difficult terrain and a particularly typical Scottish summer.

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