Whitelaw Brae 33kV Wind Farm Connection

Scotland

Whitelaw Brae Wind Farm grid connection is a major electrical infrastructure project in the rural Southern Uplands of Scotland. It comprises the development of two new 33kV wood pole overhead lines, connecting the electricity output from the consented Whitelaw Brae Wind Farm substation into the wider electricity network.

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The design and routeing of overhead lines is a complex process which requires striking a careful balance between statutory obligations, technical requirements, economic viability, land use and the environment. Overhead lines and underground cables follow linear routes and have particular characteristics and potential impacts, which distinguish them from developments on single sites.

Major electrical infrastructure projects generate considerable public interest and debate, particularly in relation to local concerns such as visual amenity. Such proposals must, therefore, be supported by a clear explanation of how the project has developed and why decisions have been made.

Gillespies was commissioned by SP Energy Networks to assemble and coordinate a bespoke multidisciplinary team of environmental consultants to prepare the supporting information for the application to the Scottish Government Energy Consents Unit. This included the preparation of a Routeing and Consultation Document, Screening Report/ Request, Environmental Report and a Mitigation Measures report.

The routeing process followed established guidance including the Holford Rules and SP Energy Networks sequential approach to routeing of overhead lines. This ensured that all issues were fully considered and that the route selected avoided the most sensitive, valued natural and man-made features and landscapes.