This fires the starting gun for over £5bn of investment in grid infrastructure in the north of Scotland alone that will be critical to delivering the UK and Scotland’s net zero commitments and renewable targets.
With Scotland boasting some of the world’s greatest resources of renewable electricity, investment in new and upgraded electricity network infrastructure is required to connect and transport that power from source to areas of demand across the country.
This year’s NOA sets out the strategic reinforcements in electricity transmission infrastructure that will be required to upgrade the motorways of the electricity network, critical to maintain progress towards delivering a pathway to net zero emissions and tackling the impacts of climate change.
Following fast on the heels of the landmark ScotWind announcement earlier this month, there is a pressing need to accelerate the development of the grid that is necessary to support the ambitions of ScotWind and facilitate the growth in renewable electricity generation across the north of Scotland.
This year’s NOA confirms the need to progress with the following strategic reinforcements in SSEN Transmission’s network region:
Two subsea high-voltage direct current (HVDC) links from Peterhead to England; A second HVDC link from Spittal in Caithness, connecting to Peterhead;
Strategic onshore reinforcements to the north of Inverness and between Inverness and Peterhead.
These reinforcements are required under all credible future energy scenarios for net zero; are necessary to underpin the delivery of the UK Government’s target of 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 target and its commitment to decarbonise the power sector by 2035; as well as the Scottish Government’s 11GW of offshore wind and 75% emissions reduction targets by 2030.
Rob McDonald, Managing Director of SSEN Transmission, said: “This £5bn of investment in grid infrastructure in the north of Scotland will be critical to enabling the growth of renewable electricity in the region needed to deliver net zero, including the first step in unlocking the vast increase in offshore wind expected following the recently announced outcome of the ScotWind leasing round.
“These investments will also provide huge economic opportunities for the north of Scotland and throughout GB, supporting hundreds of skilled jobs in the development and construction phases. Due to the scale of investment in grid infrastructure, we believe there is a clear opportunity for Governments and industry to work together to encourage inward investment in UK supply chain manufacturing and skills development.”