Scottish power line moves ahead

19th October 2016 from Energy Voice

A temporary compound has been built on Scotland’s Moray coast as part of a massive subsea cable project.

Specialist drilling equipment is being set up at Tannachy Sands near Portgordon to create a power line between the region and Caithness.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is investing £1.1billion in the link, which will run for nearly 100 miles from Spittal to Blackhillock, near Keith
Before the end of the year four drills will be completed off the coast of Tannachy Sands.

They will burrow more than 160ft into the bedrock about a mile out to sea.

The power lines will then be pulled through steel-lined tunnels once a specialist cable-laying vessel fits the offshore infrastructure next year to carry the power from Dounreay and Mybster in the north.

More than 100 native bottlenose dolphins are being monitored during the process to ensure they are not disturbed.

Project director, Graeme Barclay, said: “The Caithness-Moray project as a whole represents the largest investment that has taken place in the north of Scotland’s electricity network since the post-war hydro era.

“By enabling the connection and efficient transmission of large volumes of renewable generation, it will play a vital part in the country’s transition to a lower carbon economy.

“On a typical day at this stage of the project there are about 140 people working on our sites in Moray, including our main site offices at Blackhillock.”

Work to connect the Blackhillock substation to the coast has now passed the halfway mark with 15 out of 25 cable sections already installed.

The steel frame for a new convertor station has started to take shape.

Specialist electrical equipment to convert direct current to alternating current will be installed next year once 700 tonnes of structural steel is erected.

Yesterday SSEN emphasised the benefits the project has brought to the local workforce and economy.

Sarah Medcraf, chief executive of Moray Chamber of Commerce, said: “AJ Engineering have been involved for a couple of years.

“For the work in Caithness and Moray they used their Forres workshop to manufacture and it’s galvanised in Elgin.

“They used Moray-based site labour and local cranes to erect steelwork.

“In total the projects have given them sales of approximately £2.25million which helps towards sustaining their workforce.”

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