We all expect electricity to be available at the flick of a switch 24 hours a day.
The electricity transmission system in Dumfries and Galloway dates back to the 1930's. Although it’s served local communities well, at over 80 years old it’s nearing the end of its useful life. It needs to be replaced to make sure local homes and businesses have secure supplies for decades to come.
The system is at full capacity and this will soon start to hamper our ability to transmit electricity from the places where it is generated to the places where it is needed.
Under the Electricity Act 1989, SP Energy Networks has a statutory duty to make sure supplies are secure and reliable for the people who need them, and also to provide capacity to connect new sources of electricity.
SP Energy Networks needs to modernise and reinforce the area’s electricity system by building a new transmission overhead line. Originally, we were planning to build a new transmission overhead line of up to 400kV from Auchencrosh to Harker as well as replace parts of the old 132kV line between Kendoon and Tongland.
However, changes to subsidy arrangements for onshore windfarms and the future mix of power generation in Scotland have had an impact on the development.
After employing economic consultants and consulting the System Operator, National Grid, a comprehensive cost benefit analysis (CBA) was carried out on a range of potential generation scenarios and how these might be addressed by the project.
As well as economic modelling, the process also took into account a technical review and input from stakeholders. See the Executive Summary for more information.
After examining all the potential scenarios and technical solutions it was decided that the full DGSR Project is not economic at this time.
This may change in future and will be kept under review. However, for now we have decided to develop only those elements of the original scheme – the modernisation and replacement of the 132kV line between Kendoon and Tongland - which are essential now. This is the Kendoon to Tongland 132kV Reinforcement (KTR) Project.
The KTR Project will ensure that only the appropriate level of infrastructure will be built at this time. The design will allow flexibility to adopt further upgrades if there are significant changes to energy policy, or changes to the operational requirements of the transmission network, in the years ahead.
On this basis, we have now submitted a proposal for the KTR Project to the industry regulator Ofgem. Should there be a need to progress the full DGSR Project in the future then we would need to consider the specific project drivers and transmission system requirements at that point in time. This could lead to the scope, scale and characteristics of the project differing from that which was consulted on in 2015.
Regardless of what a future DGSR project might look like, SP Energy Networks would develop proposals to a point where meaningful stakeholder engagement could be undertaken on the project.