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Onshore bidders named for mega electricity network upgrade in Scotland | Ground Engineering

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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Transmission has identified preferred bidders to deliver critical elements for onshore transmission infrastructure as part of a major £10bn investment in Scotland’s electricity network.

The programme known as Pathway to 2030 will build an electricity transmission network infrastructure that will help the UK and Scottish governments meet their 2030 offshore wind targets of 50GW and 11GW by 2023.

SSEN Transmission will be investing over £10bn to upgrade the network and connect new onshore and offshore renewables generation in the north of Scotland as part of the programme – which comprises nine significant onshore and subsea projects.

SSEN has now announced its preferred bidders for the delivery of critical elements of onshore transmission infrastructure.

These companies include Balfour Beatty, Siemens Energy Bam, J Murphy and Sons, Wood Power Solutions, Omexom Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, Burns and McDonnell, Morrison Energy Services, Linxon, IQA and NKT.

They will provide the overhead lines, underground cables and substations required to redevelop the transmission network in the north of Scotland between now and 2030.

It comes after SSEN announced that Hitachi Energy and NKT were the preferred bidders for the delivery of elements of offshore transmission infrastructure across the programme.

SSEN Transmission said that a key consideration in the tender process for the onshore infrastructure was the encouragement of local content, with all of the selected supply chain partners scoring highly.

Upon completion of contract award, SSEN Transmission will set out further details of the plans to deliver jobs and economic growth across the north of Scotland and beyond, supporting the significant local and national economic opportunities these investments will unlock.

SSEN Transmission managing director Rob McDonald said: “Our Pathway to 2030 network redevelopment programme will play a huge role in delivering Scotland and the UK’s net zero targets and the selection of this group of preferred bidders for crucial elements of that redevelopment work is a massive step forward in delivering that.”

The electricity company aims to conclude contract negotiations in the coming weeks and months.

Several major projects are planned under the Pathway to 2030 programme, including the UK’s single largest electricity transmission project ever from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire to Drax in North Yorkshire, which will be taken forward by a joint venture of National Grid and SSEN Transmission.

This will see the creation of a 525kV, 2GW high-voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea transmission cable measuring approximately 436km in length. A new HVDC switching station will also be built at Peterhead.

The joint venture will deliver another 2GW subsea HVDC link from Peterhead to South Humber.

Other major projects under the programme are a 1.8GW subsea HVDC link from Arnish on the Western Isles, connecting to the north of Scotland mainland; and 400kV onshore reinforcements, between Beauly, Blackhillock, New Deer and Peterhead; between Beauly, Loch Buidhe and Spittal; and between Kintore, Tealing and Westfield.

The existing Beauly to Denny line will also be upgraded to enable 400kV operation on both circuits.

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