Published: 18/05/2017 16:34 - Updated: 18/05/2017 16:37

Public warned of disruption caused by substation plans near Laggan

The new Beauly-Denny powerline which takes power from Highlands to the Central Belt
The new Beauly-Denny powerline which takes power from Highlands to the Central Belt

The public in and around Melgarve are being warned of disruption over the next few days caused by road works for access for two transformers to the new substation there.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks is constructing the substation which is required as part of the 67-turbine Stronelairg wind farm.

It will facilitate a connection between an underground power cable from the site and the Beauly-Denny overhead transmission line.

The go-ahead was given to the largest wind farm in the Highlands and Islands – located in the Monadhliath Mountains – nearest to Fort Augustus – last summer after a lengthy court battle.

The 400/132kV GIS electrical substation at Melgarve will also comprise a substation platform, control buildings, temporary construction compound and an upgraded access from the A86 for the site north-west of Garvamore.

The energy giant has pledged that it will keep the visual impact of the substation to a minimum.

A company spokesperson said: "We are required to widen and prepare the track between Strathmashie Cottages and Spey Dam ahead of the transformer and reactor deliveries which will be destined for the new Melgarve substation.

"The transformers – each weighing 155 tonnes – will travel to site on a specialist multi axle trailer which can be up to 22m in length. "The reactor units are smaller and lighter but will be delivered using a similar method.

"A section of the existing Strathmashie forestry track will require trees to be felled and a corner re-profiled to allow the transformer delivery to take place safely."

The works are scheduled to take place from tomorrow and continue until next Monday (May 22).

The company is warning there will be noise whilst rock is broken and.

The two transformers are due to to be delivered some time between July 30 and August 13 under Police Scotland escort.

The planned substation comprises a levelled platform and compound with a footprint of 172 by 120 metres and contained by a 2.4 metre high steel palisade fence.

There will also be a main control building with a height of approximately 12 metres, housing Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) and facilities for those working on-site. The maximum height of the external infrastructure will be approximately 17 metres.

SSE has not been able to rule out that the large-scale development will be visible from the historic Corrieyairack Pass, a popular route with cross-country walkers.

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