Buchan ‘plug socket’ engagement starts

A diagram of the NorthConnect proposals
A diagram of the NorthConnect proposals

Consultation with Buchan residents starts next week on an onshore ‘plug socket’ for a power cable which will connect Scotland and Norway.

The feedback from local people and interests on NorthConnect will help finalise plans for a converter station near Peterhead ahead of submitting a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council in 2015.

A planning proposal for the 650km underwater cable will be made separately and is scheduled for later in 2015.

NorthConnect wants to lay a 1.4GW power cable which, if given the go-ahead, will enable power to be transmitted between Great Britain and Scandinavia.

The cable promises to benefit the Scottish consumer by helping keep prices down as well as enable renewable electricity generators in Scotland to export to Norway.

The building housing the components of the station will be 190 metres long, 60 metres wide and 23 metres high.

The project manager behind NorthConnect in the UK said that he wants to minimise the effect of the onshore facility.

Richard Blanchfield, NorthConnect project manager, said: “We need a pretty big ‘plug socket’ at either end to connect a 650km cable capable of moving the same amount of electricity that a big power station could generate.

“The building near Boddam and Stirling Village will convert electricity from direct to alternating current before going on to the National Grid.

“NorthConnect is looking towards operation in 2021 so we are now starting the permitting process in Scotland.

“Our objective is to keep the impact of the converter station to an absolute minimum and that is why we want feedback from locals in the area ahead of a planning application next year.

“An interconnector cable between Scotland and Norway will prove an important strategic asset for both countries.

“It will benefit the Scottish consumer and support the export of Scotland’s significant renewable power potential to Scandinavia.”

NorthConnect is now asking for feedback from local people on the converter station on a site at Fourfields, west of Stirling Hill quarry.

NorthConnect will hold a workshop at the Buchan Braes Hotel, Boddam on Tuesday, November 4 to discuss the design of the converter station.

This will be followed by public information days to be organised next year.

Local residents can also provide feedback by completing a questionnaire that can be can be picked up at the workshop or alternatively can be completed online at www.northconenct.no.

Those interested in attending the workshop should email fiona.henderson@northconnect.no.

A number of representatives from NorthConnect will be on hand to answer any questions and explain the plans in more detail.