SSEN Transmission is proposing to construct and operate a new 275 kV connection between Creag Dhubh and Dalmally, there are three key elements to this proposal, which are described below.
A new OHL constructed using self-supporting fabricated galvanised steel lattice towers, that are on average 50 metres (m) high and separated by an average distance of 280 m. It will be 13.4 kilometre (km) double circuit 275 kV overhead line (OHL), supported by 47 steel lattice towers between a proposed substation at Creag Dhubh to a new switching station in Glen Lochy adjacent to the existing Scottish Power Transmission 275 kV OHL that runs from Dalmally to Inverarnan;
A new switching station in Glen Lochy to connect to the Scottish Power Transmission 275 kV OHL; and
A new substation at Creag Dhubh to connect to the 132 kV OHL between Taynuilt and Inveraray.
The spacing (span length) between towers and the tower height would vary depending on environment and engineering constraints with maximum height of approximately 60 m and maximum span length of 350 m. Each tower would carry two circuits, with three horizontal cross arms on each side of the tower, each carrying an insulator string and two conductors. An earth wire, containing an optical fibre ground wire (OPGW), would be strung between the tower peaks.
Other associated works will be required for the construction and maintenance of the OHL. This will include tree and vegetation clearance; upgrades of existing or new junction bell-mouths and access tracks; and road and other infrastructure (bridges, culverts etc.) alterations. This would require the removal of sections of commercial forestry and broadleaved woodland for the creation of an operational corridor. The width of the corridor would be variable depending on the nature of the woodland; however, it is assumed that an average corridor of 80 m would be required (40 m either side of the tower centre line). In addition, minor vegetation management and felling may be required around the existing access track network to provide sufficient width.
It is anticipated that permanent access will be required for all angle towers and tension towers. Where possible, existing tracks will be used or upgraded. In other locations (e.g. to access section towers), it is anticipated that new temporary tracks would be installed. Floating stone road or trackway panel construction may be installed in sensitive areas such as over peat, depending on the sensitivity of constraints identified and the engineering feasibility of installing this type of track.
The 47 towers shown in this illustrative 3D model follow the Preferred Alignment described in the Creag Dhubh to Dalmally 275kV Connection Consultation Document (June 2021) which can be read in full at the following link, which you can view here.
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