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Energy watchdog gives go-ahead to £190m ScottishPower network upgrade

Scottish Power has been given clearance by the energy regulator to fast-track a £190m upgrade of Scotland's power network due to the flood of renewable energy projects emerging across the country.

Ofgem's head of energy transmission Robert Hull wrote to ScottishPower chief executive Ian Russell last week to reveal that he has waived previous conditions attached to the scheme, which could have left it bogged down in red tape for several years.

One of the conditions had been that the firm would have to wait for its Perth-based rival Scottish & Southern Energy to receive planning permission for its controversial upgrade of the Beauly to Denny power line - which has attracted 12,000 objections.

The ScottishPower project will bring extra capacity into the 'interconnector' that plugs Scotland's power network into the rest of the national grid. Construction work is now due to begin next summer.

A ScottishPower spokesman said: "The interconnector upgrade is fundamental to unlocking the potential of renewables in Scotland. We welcome recognition of this from Ofgem and the decision that the upgrade is justified in its own right. We also remain fully committed to the Beauly-Denny upgrade to facilitate the development of renewables in the north of Scotland."

The upgrade of the interconnector is part of a 560m investment programme announced by Ofgem in December 2004 to bring energy from renewables projects spread... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Ofgem's head of energy transmission Robert Hull wrote to ScottishPower chief executive Ian Russell last week to reveal that he has waived previous conditions attached to the scheme, which could have left it bogged down in red tape for several years.
 
One of the conditions had been that the firm would have to wait for its Perth-based rival Scottish & Southern Energy to receive planning permission for its controversial upgrade of the Beauly to Denny power line - which has attracted 12,000 objections.
 
The ScottishPower project will bring extra capacity into the 'interconnector' that plugs Scotland's power network into the rest of the national grid. Construction work is now due to begin next summer.
 
A ScottishPower spokesman said: "The interconnector upgrade is fundamental to unlocking the potential of renewables in Scotland. We welcome recognition of this from Ofgem and the decision that the upgrade is justified in its own right. We also remain fully committed to the Beauly-Denny upgrade to facilitate the development of renewables in the north of Scotland."
 
The upgrade of the interconnector is part of a £560m investment programme announced by Ofgem in December 2004 to bring energy from renewables projects spread across the north of Scotland. It is the single biggest overhaul of the Scottish grid in more than 40 years.
 
Under the plans, the proposed £250m Beauly to Denny power line would act as the main thoroughfare to bring power from renewables projects in the north of Scotland to the central belt. The upgrade of the interconnector would then be required to export that additional power into the national grid.
 
But the number of wind farms and other renewables projects given the green light in Scotland means that additional capacity will be required in the interconnector sooner than expected, irrespective of progress on the Beauly to Denny line.
 
The interconnector upgrade will see its capacity soar and should be completed by 2011.
 
Ofgem said the decision to sanction the project separately to the Beauly to Denny line had been backed up by research from an independent consultancy into the number of renewables projects that had been sanctioned and their anticipated contribution to grid capacity.

Source: http://business.scotsman.co...

DEC 19 2005
https://www.windaction.org/posts/753-energy-watchdog-gives-go-ahead-to-190m-scottishpower-network-upgrade
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