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SHE Transmission to seek views on site options for electrical switching station in Caithness

12th September 2015

Community, Making a difference, Transmission.

Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHE Transmission) has announced details of initial public consultation on site options for a proposed High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) switching station north of Wick. The switching station would allow the connection of a planned subsea cable from Shetland with the consented cable that is being installed between Caithness and Moray.

SHE Transmission's project team will present details of the proposed development and the site selection process now under way at Staxigoe Hall on Monday 14 September from 1:30pm until 6:30pm and at Mackays Hotel in Wick on Tuesday 15 September from 1:30pm until 7:30pm.

An earlier search for a larger multi-circuit switching station site in 2012 considered sites further north, but a reduction in the scope of the development has resulted in a focus on the vicinity of the established Caithness- Moray cable route. The sites now under consideration would only provide for the connection of the Shetland cable to the Caithness-Moray HVDC system, with allowance made for a single further underground cable connection in the event of future development being required.

SHE Transmission Project Manager Graham Reid said:

"Switching stations are used widely across the electricity network. Effectively, they are a type of electrical substation where there is no change in the voltage, so no transformers are required. In this case, our proposal would connect HVDC underground and subsea circuits that enable efficient transmission of electricity across long distances.

"At this stage, we are considering several site options and we are keen to receive feedback from members of the public and the statutory authorities about these. Once we have considered all the comments we receive and identified a single preferred site, we will develop much more detailed proposals for design and landscaping which will then be the subject of further consultation and ultimately a planning application.

“We would very much encourage anyone who would like to find out more about our proposals to come along and meet our team on 14 and 15 September. The feedback we receive at each stage of the process will play an important part in helping us to develop the best solution possible."

All consultation materials will be published at a dedicated website about the project when the events take place. Comments on the site selection process can be submitted until Friday 9 October to Lisa Marchi-Grey, SHE Transmission, 10 Henderson Road, Inverness, IV1 1SN or lisa.marchi[AT]sse.com.

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