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Work set to start on controversial Melgarve substation

By SPP Reporter

The recently erected Beauly-Denny power lines with the historic pass that runs by it (right)
The recently erected Beauly-Denny power lines with the historic pass that runs by it (right)

Electricity giant SSE is set to start construction on a controversial major new substation near one of Scotland’s most historic passes.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks has confirmed to the Strathy that it will begin on the substation early next month.

It is required as part of the 67-turbine Stronelairg wind farm and will facilitate a connection between the 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 – in the 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 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 pledged that it will keep the visual impact of the substation to a minimum.

However, it 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.

SSE has also warned that there will be an increase in construction traffic in the Laggan area although the village itself will be avoided by the route agreed with Highland Council.

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