Peterhead NorthConnect plans approved

An artist's impression of the North Connect site at Boddam
An artist's impression of the North Connect site at Boddam

Councillors have shown the green light to an underground energy cabling scheme linking Scotland with Norway.

The NorthConnect interconnector project will provide an electricity transmission link with a capacity of 1400MW.

Its subsea cables will be routed under the North Sea from Simadalen in Norway to a site south of Boddam.

At a full meeting of Aberdeenshire Council on Thursday, North Connect was singled out for its commitment to community consultation.

Peterhead South and Cruden councillor Stephen Smith praised the company for the “exemplary process” by which it had engaged with the community, particularly with the local community council.

He said that other developers could learn a lot in the future from NorthConnect’s approach.

The proposal will now involve the installation of an underground cable stretching from a landfall point at Longhaven to a previously-approved interconnector station adjacent to Stirlinghill 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.

Councillors heard that the project need is derived from both European Commission and Scottish Government aims.

The Scottish Government aims to reach target quotas for the use of renewable energy, while the European Commission has a stated objective to reach an interconnection target of 15% by 2030.

Commenting Richard Blanchfield, the NorthConnect Permitting manager in the UK, said: “I am delighted that the NorthConnect Project has passed another significant milestone on its journey to becoming a reality.

"The cables will be able to transport energy in both directions, monitor and respond instantaneously to meet the demands of either energy market and, crucially, be able to be called upon in the event of a ‘black start’ situation, ensuring our lights stay on.

“NorthConnect is looking towards operation in 2023/24 and now the only piece of the UK planning and licencing jigsaw left is the Marine Licence, which we expect a decision on in the coming months.”