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News Release – 3rd August 2020

SP Energy Networks publishes results of underground cable study for Kendoon to Tongland 132kV Reinforcement (KTR) Project

SP Energy Networks (SPEN) has published its final report on the underground cable study carried out for the Kendoon to Tongland 132kV Reinforcement (KTR) Project.

The report follows an extensive study, supported by specialist company Cable Consulting International (CCI) Ltd and environmental consultants LUC, to identify potential underground cable routes as an alternative to overhead lines in certain sections of the KTR Project.

SPEN commissioned the study following extensive consultations with local communities between 2015 and 2018. It examined whether underground cables could be used along the route, focussing in on six different sections: Polquhanity to Kendoon; Kendoon to Glenlee; Queen’s Way Crossing; Bennan, Slogarie and Laurieston Forests; A75 crossing; and the Glenlee to Tongland connection in its entirety.

SPEN looked carefully at the consultation feedback and suggestions received, and spoke to statutory stakeholders, local consultees and the Scottish Government.

An assessment, undertaken by CCI, appraised possible alternatives and identified preferred cable options for each route section. CCI then carried out technical studies of the preferred options, and SPEN carried out cost studies. Each preferred option was then appraised against the overhead line options.

The study found that, in each section, underground cables were technically feasible and would offer some environmental benefits, but the additional costs would make each section from £8.62m to £95.96m more expensive than overhead lines.

A spokesperson for SPEN said: “After thorough investigation and careful consideration, the results of this study show there would be substantial additional costs involved with undergrounding cables along this route, along with significant disruption for any works.

“SPEN must balance environmental impacts against technical requirements and costs, and therefore our final conclusions from this study confirm that, in line with SPEN’s statutory and licence duties, overhead line connections should be progressed for all sections of the KTR Project.”

SPEN will now finalise its consent applications for the KTR Project, to be submitted to Scottish Ministers later this summer. The proposals will also include specific mitigation to reduce, offset or avoid potential environmental effects.

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