Electrical link plans submitted

The proposed NorthConnect converter station at Fourfields near Boddam
The proposed NorthConnect converter station at Fourfields near Boddam

The next step of the north east electrical link project between Scotland and Norway has been taken.

NorthConnect has submitted planning and marine licence applications for the power cables, opening up the project to the formal consultation process.

The NorthConnect project would see a 665km, 1.4GW power cable connection installed which, if given the go-ahead, will enable power to be transmitted between Great Britain and Scandinavia.

The link promises to benefit the Scottish consumer by helping keep prices down as well as enabling renewable electricity generation in Scotland and Norway to be maximised.

NorthConnect is seeking permission for the HVDC cable route which will feed into the converter station on a site at Fourfields, west of Stirling Hill quarry.

The building, which was consented in 2015, will house the components required to convert electricity from direct to alternating current and vice versa to allow connection on to the National Grid.

Richard Blanchfield, the NorthConnect Permitting manager in the UK, said: “To connect the two converter stations, two cables measuring around 665 km will be needed - that’s approximately the distance from Peterhead to London.

“The cables, which include a fibre optic control cable, will be able to transport energy both ways; they will monitor and respond instantaneously to meet the demands of either market and, crucially, be able to come to Scotland’s aid in the event of a ‘black start’ situation, ensuring our lights stay on.

“NorthConnect is looking towards operation in 2023 so we are now continuing the permitting process.

“Our objective is to keep the negative impacts of the project to an absolute minimum, on land and at sea.”

Both Aberdeenshire Council and Marine Scotland will seek feedback from statutory consultees including Scottish Natural Heritage, the Marine and Coastguard Agency and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, as well as from the general public.

The finalised plans for the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cables are available for the public to view at Boddam Library and the Peterhead Fishermen’s Mission.

The plans can also be downloaded via the NorthConnect and Aberdeenshire Council websites.