Major milestone in Crossaig powerline project

The first two towers have been installed during phase two of the Inveraray-Crossaig overhead line development.
The first two towers have been installed during phase two of the Inveraray-Crossaig overhead line development.

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A major construction milestone was reached in the multi-million-pound powerline construction project between Lochgilphead and Crossaig, on Kintyre’s east coast, with the first towers installed.

SSEN Transmission has installed the first two of 149 steel towers for the replacement overhead line which will span across 45 kilometres between Port Ann and Crossaig Substation.

Teams have also made great progress with the installation of 48 kilometres of access track and 21 of the tower foundations as part of the ongoing project.

This is the second phase in the wider Inveraray to Crossaig powerline upgrade, with the first phase – Inveraray to Port Ann – energised in July 2021.

The new powerline will replace the existing infrastructure in the area, which was originally built in the 1950s and is now reaching the end of its operating life.

SSEN Transmission says the new replacement powerline will provide a new robust and reliable transmission network across the region and will serve as one of the transmission network’s main arteries in the west of Scotland.

The energy company added that was one of the most significant electricity network investments in the region in decades.

Once complete, the powerline will operate at 132kV, with the capacity to be upgraded to 275kV in the future, forming a part of SSEN Transmission’s Argyll 275kV strategy.

This will see the electricity transmission network in the region reinforced to enable the connection of more than 600 MW of new renewable generation, helping in the transition to net zero emissions and the fight against the climate emergency.

‘This is a major milestone in our ongoing project between Port Ann and Crossaig, and I’m delighted to see the first of 149 towers installed as part of this highly complex engineering project,’ said David Auld, project manager for SSEN Transmission.

‘Once complete, it will not only provide a more resilient transmission network in Argyll, but also provide increased capacity to allow more renewable electricity generation to be connected to the grid – allowing clean energy to be transported to where it is needed most and assist in the fight against the climate emergency.

‘As a stakeholder-led business, we’ve been working closely with the local community and stakeholders to share information with them about the project and to help mitigate the impacts of our activities, and we thank them for their continued patience and understanding as we deliver this critical national infrastructure which will serve the region for many decades to come.’

For more information on the project, visit the SSEN Transmission website at www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/projects/inveraray-crossaig