Public consultation launched into underground power lines



Beauly-Denny-Towers2A consultation has been launched by Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) to identify 48km of overhead distribution power lines which could run underground.

The six-month discussion will allow the public to nominate power lines in National Parks and National Scenic Areas as part of the £5.5 million project.

SHEPD are to work with a variety of planning offices with responsibility for National Parks and National Scenic Areas to help it compare and prioritise the nominated sections.

The cost to underground the overhead sections can vary due to the voltage, length of circuit and geography.

Kirstine Wood, stakeholder engagement manager with SHEPD, said: “Overhead power lines are vital to ensure a safe, reliable and cost effective electricity network. However, we understand people feel they can have a detrimental impact on the views of the natural environment. To help address this concern we are launching a programme of undergrounding overhead lines in National Parks and National Scenic Areas.

“Undergrounding overhead lines is expensive and can often cause more damage to the environment than wooden poles or towers.

“Therefore we have to carefully consider each nominated area, work closely with other utilities, landowners and public bodies to plan and identify the best areas where we can do the work.”

To nominate an area people need to complete a form on SHEPD’s website. Submissions will require a photography of the suggested area to show the current impact the overhead line causes.