Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHE Transmission) has been awarded more than £6.6m to develop new overhead tower lines.
The funding, provided as part of Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition, will allow the transmission owner for the north of Scotland to test new overhead tower line designs on the live network.
The decision of which designs will be used and where they are to be trialled needs to be finalised. The project, which lasts six years, will see SHE Transmission work with a range of stakeholders, including local councils, community bodies and environmental groups to secure their input into the designs and to agree where the new towers could be situated.
The new towers have been developed for 132kV and 275kV infrastructure and they will complement the existing steel lattice towers currently being used.
The new designs could provide long-term benefits as they need simpler foundations and they are easier to construct.
Frank Clifton, Future Networks Project Development Manager, who led the project submissions said: “We started the initial design for the project two years ago and we have investigated a wide range of potential structure types from around the world. The NIC funding allows us to develop and test the designs that we hope will become business as usual. It gives us an excellent opportunity to apply innovative thinking to provide benefits for our customers. And we will share the results of this trial so all the transmission owners and operators in the UK can benefit from the project’s findings.”
Dave Gardner, Director of SHE Transmission, said: “We are pleased Ofgem is supporting our project through its Network Innovation Competition funding. Our transmission network operates in some of the most remote and challenging landscapes in the country. The new design will help the construction of essential new overhead lines and, due to their smaller size and simpler construction, it could reduce the environmental impact and minimise disruption to local communities.”