Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHE Transmission) has awarded four major contracts worth a total of £450M for new and upgraded power lines in the north of Scotland to cope with a surge in renewable power.
The work is part of a £1.5Bn commitment to meeting future demand for more transmission facilities from renewable energy developers, including offshore and onshore wind farms and tidal schemes. SHE Transmission says the capital investment programme could increase by a further £4Bn if required.
Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions, Amec Group, MSVE Transmission (a joint venture partnership of Morgan Sindall and Vinci Energies United Kingdom) and Babcock Networks have been awarded the new contracts that will help support over 600 technical jobs and provide a boost to local economies.
SHE Transmission director of transmission David Gardner said: "The award of these contracts, with some of the industry’s global experts, will help deliver the infrastructure that is needed to support the connection of renewables, as well as providing a boost to the local communities where we are operating.”
These awards follow on from an announcement by SHE Transmission in March 2013 where they placed £600M of contracts for new electricity substations in northern Scotland.
"We believe the communities in which we work and operate are very important and that we play a valuable role in contributing to the local economy,” Mr Gardner said.
“We have therefore made sure that communities, local employment and local supply chain are at the heart of the contracts. This will build on the work we are already doing to develop a trained, skilled workforce."
SHE Transmission says demand for connection to the transmission network from renewable developers has increased considerably, requiring significant change to the way that the network is configured and operated. It is investing heavily to upgrade and reinforce the network. To date, over 2,600 Megawatts of renewable energy have been connected in the SHE Transmission licensed area.