An Enhanced High Voltage Energy Transmission Network is needed to facilitate renewable electricity development and its export. The specific projects required for this network are set out in the Electricity Networks Strategy Group, and will continue to evolve as new opportunities emerge. Key connections include links to Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, and interconnectors to emerging international grid networks. Improvements to the distribution network are also important to many remote rural areas. We support the provision of new infrastructure, whilst acknowledging that full consideration of routes and development components will be required at the consenting stage. The map of national developments provides an indicative picture of key electricity grid upgrades, although these may change in the future.
As part of this national development, we want to see planning enabling development of onshore links to support offshore renewable energy development. A strategy for the marine grid, connecting with the onshore network, will help to provide greater clarity on the offshore projects required.
Implementation Lead(s): Scottish Power Energy Networks; Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution SHE Transmission; Scottish Government
Locations: All Scotland
Scottish Power Energy Networks
Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution SHE Transmission
Electricity Networks Strategy Group
Marine Scotland – Offshore Renewable Energy – Planning
Environmental Mitigation: Project level assessment of route options to take into account potential impacts arising from construction and installation as well as long term operational effects. Application of Holford Rules. Further Habitats Regulation Appraisal will be required as projects are planned.
Ongoing Activity and Milestones:
The Irish-Scottish Links of Energy Study (ISLES) was a major initiative to enable the development of interconnected grid networks between Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. This project, which was funded by the EU and led by the Scottish Government, has concluded, although the key outputs – concerning cross-jurisdictional planning; regulatory modelling; and business planning – remain live. Full details of these can be viewed on the ISLES II website.
Planning authorities to reflect electricity transmission upgrade plans and projects in development plans and, if necessary, supplementary guidance.
Marine Scotland will be considering the marine strategic grid requirements within the next Offshore Wind Sectoral Marine Planning work.
The UK government has indicated that it intends to merge the Electricity Networks Strategy Group (ENSG) and the Smart Grid Forum into a new group. While the work of the ENSG may have concluded, projects determined to be of national significance may be indicated by any future body which performs the role formerly provided by the ENSG.