SSE told to halt plans for North East transmission line

Moments after the Scottish Parliament confirmed that Mike Rumbles’ debate criticising Scottish & Southern Electricity Network’s proposed pylon line across Aberdeenshire would be debated, SSE have confirmed in an email to Mr Rumbles that they have been told by the National Grid ‘not to proceed’ with the project.

Mr Rumbles said: “SSE have said that it is important to note that this does not necessarily signal the end of the need for the transmission line at some point in the future, as they do look at this on annual basis. However, I am delighted that the campaign has been successful in highlighting the environmental damage this could do to our area of Aberdeenshire. This could not be better news.”


“My debate in Parliament, scheduled for Tuesday 7th February, will still go ahead because I want to highlight the fact that if this ever comes back on to the table in future years SSE’s plans as proposed would have been environmental vandalism and  simply unacceptable.


“I would particularly like to thank all the campaigners in Aberdeenshire who have raised their concerns with me and all my Parliamentary colleagues who have supported my motion on the Blackhillock to Kintore transmission line.”




Notes for editors:


  • Body of text of email from SSEN to Mike Rumbles MSP:

“National Grid, in its role as GB System Operator, has published its second Networks Options Assessment (NOA) report, which makes recommendations for transmission projects across GB on the basis that they should either “proceed”, “delay” or “do not proceed”. This includes a change to the recommendation on the potential 400kV reinforcement project between Beauly, Blackhillock and Kintore that we have been developing to transport renewable energy from the north of Scotland.


In last year’s NOA report the project was recommended to “delay” such that it could be delivered one year later than planned. However, in this year’s NOA report the project recommendation has changed to “do not proceed” which indicates that we should pause work on the project. We have published a blog on the SSEN transmission website which explains this in more detail.


We note the publication of today’s NOA report and will now begin discussions with affected parties, including generation developers and local communities, about how to take forward the recommendations. 


It is important to note that today’s report does not necessarily signal the end of the need to reinforce the transmission network between Beauly, Blackhillock and Kintore at some point in the future.  As the NOA is an annual process, a recommendation to stop or delay in one year might become a recommendation to proceed in later years.  As part of our planned discussions, we will carefully consider how to ensure we capture the significant development work that has been done and the valuable stakeholder feedback received so far on this project.


We appreciate the extent of local interest in the project and remain committed to keeping you and your constituents updated as we consider the next steps for the project.”

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