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SSEN breaks ground on new substation

Apr 14, 2022
Substations
Posted by Patrick Haddad

A major milestone has been reached in the construction of a new electricity substation in rural Perthshire with teams making a start on the main platform and overhead line tower works.

The substation will be built and operated initially at 275 kilovolts (kV), however it is designed to operate at 400kV ensuring that only minimal changes are required for any future upgrade to the operating voltage of the Beauly to Denny overhead line. The platform being formed will also be sized to ensure that any additional equipment to be sited at Kinardochy can be done so with minimal future works required.

Ahead of breaking ground on-site, the team have been busy over the last six months carrying out tree-clearance work paving the way for Principal Contractor Siemens BAM to begin the main substation construction works, along with ground investigations to understand the conditions below the surface. The ground investigations confirmed the rock below the site can be crushed and reutilised to form the substation platform and permanent access road, limiting the amount of material that is required to be imported to the site using HGVs, as well as removing the need for any materials to be taken offsite for disposal.  In total, teams expect to reuse some 84,000 cubic meters of rock.  

Screening bunds will be constructed using natural material excavated from the work area to minimise the visual impact of the substation.  The bunds will also be replanted with native tree species as well as seeded with local wildflowers which will not only help with visual impact but also encourage greater biodiversity in the area, allowing local flora and fauna to flourish, in line with SSEN Transmission’s commitment to delivering biodiversity net gain on its future projects. A section of trees to the north of the work area has also been retained to provide additional screening while the new plantings are given time to mature.

To enable connection of the new substation to the existing Beauly to Denny overhead line which passes the site, Balfour Beatty has also commenced the construction of temporary towers that will for approximately 18 months, divert the line until the substation is ready to be connected.

SSEN Transmission Project Manager Gary Milne said: “Breaking ground at Kinardochy marks the first major milestone in the development of this new substation, allowing our teams to begin work to install the new substation platform and access tracks to the site. 

“Once installed, the new substation will play a key role in supporting the management of energy and maintaining a safe and secure supply of electricity across the network.

Source and image: SSEN

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