Community feedback brings change of Scottish subsea link's convertor station and substation site

Community feedback leads to change of Scottish subsea link’s substation site

Following community feedback that caused the previous proposal to be discounted, SSEN Transmission has identified an alternative site on Lewis for the proposed new HVDC convertor station and AC substation for the Western Isles HVDC link.

Source: SSEN Transmission

The proposed new site, located on an area of land owned by the Stornoway Trust and Macaulay Farm on Arnish Moor near Stornoway, follows a reassessment of site options after SSEN Transmission responded to community and landowner feedback and chose not to proceed with its original preferred site at Creed North.

According to the company, the site selection process was looking to minimize community and landscape impacts throughout the development and operation of the project, while seeking to balance key environmental, technical and construction constraints, and the new site had been identified as the most suitable alternative location following a detailed evaluation of available options.

Ongoing discussions with the Stornoway Trust and owners of Macaulay Farm have led to proposals to acquire the land needed for development. Designs are being developed to ensure minimal impact on surrounding properties and Macaulay College, a local community interest company that works with students with additional support needs.

In light of this, SSEN Transmission has pledged to support Macaulay College with its plans to undertake essential building refurbishment and extension works that will create additional spaces at the college and enhance the range of activities.

The proposed land agreements are said to enable SSEN Transmission to commence an environmental impact assessment (EIA) that forms a key part of the planning application for the site. Further public consultation will take place to help inform the detailed design of the Lewis Hub site, with public events planned for September and November.

“The decision to seek an alternative location was taken in direct response to feedback from the local community, demonstrating the value of our consultation process.  We will continue to listen and work constructively with landowner groups, residents, and stakeholders as we develop the project,” said Colin Bell, Lead Project Manager for SSEN Transmission.

“The next step is further consultation with the local community and wider stakeholders to inform the planning and development of the project, which continues to have widespread local support reflecting its importance to the development of renewable energy in and around the Western Isles, and the significant economic and job opportunities our investment will unlock.”

The Western Isles, together with the Spittal-Peterhead HVDC link, is part of SSEN Transmission’s Pathway to 2030 program, a £20 billion investment that will deliver a major upgrade of the electricity transmission network to enable the connection and transportation of renewable energy around Great Britain.

Each of these connection systems has a capacity of up to 2 GW and a voltage level of 525 kV. NKT is the preferred bidder for the supply of power cable systems for the two transmission links.

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