ScottishPower has completed a major £84m project to commission two new 400kV primary sub stations in South Lanarkshire at Coalburn and Elvanfoot. Both sub stations have recently come on-line and will now play an integral role in the transmission of renewable energy produced in Scotland across the rest of the UK.
Over 330 workers were involved in the two-year project, which is a core part of a wider network programme to increase Scottish electricity export capacity from 2200MW to 2800MW by 2010.
Scotland currently generates more on-shore wind power than the rest of UK combined and with 67 further windfarm projects either consented or under construction in Scotland, totalling an additional output of over 2,500MW¹, increased access to the grid and suitable capacity to export the power generated are vital.
Increasing the capacity of the interconnector between Scotland and England will mean that there will be additional flexibility in the system transfer energy between the two, further enhancing the security of electricity supplies across the UK.
Alan Bryce, director of energy networks at ScottishPower, said: “This is a significant milestone in the project to increase the capacity of the Scotland-England interconnector. The new sub stations will facilitate the transmission of a significant amount of renewable energy being produced in Scotland throughout the rest of the UK. The development of renewable energy projects in Scotland is increasing all the time so it is vital that there is suitable infrastructure to support this growth.”
John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, said: “This Government has an ambitious target to generate 50 per cent of Scotland's electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
“Scotland has a clear, competitive advantage in developing clean, green energy sources such as wind, wave and tidal power.
“Development of our grid infrastructure will help us to realise their full potential.
“This announcement is a welcome boost towards our ambitions of making Scotland Europe's green energy capital.”
Alan Bryce from ScottishPower added: “To commission two sub stations of this size in the same year is a remarkable engineering achievement and is testament to the levels of expertise and professionalism of our own staff and the strong support from our contractors.”
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¹ Source: http://www.bwea.com/statistics/