Scottish Hydro Electricity Transmission (SHE Transmission), the electricity transmission subsidiary of SSE, has received approval from Ofgem for a £1.2bn subsea link and transmission charging reform.
The new transmission link, between Caithness and Moray, will comprise more than 100 miles of underground and subsea cable for the transmission of a large volume of electricity from renewable sources in the north of Scotland.
Scheduled to commence construction in the next few months and expected to be completed in 2018, the project is part of a transformational programme of investment in electricity transmission infrastructure aimed to support the transition to lower carbon electricity generation while increasing security of supply and promoting economic growth.
SHE Transmission managing networks managing director Mark Mathieson said Ofgem has carried out detailed and extensive consultations on the project to ensure the right project is delivered at the right time to minimise electricity grid constraints without incurring unnecessary costs for electricity consumers.
"I am very pleased that it has been given the green light and we will now work with Ofgem on the remaining details and focus on ensuring that the new link is constructed in a safe and responsible way so that the benefits it will bring in unlocking renewable sources of energy for decades to come are realised," Mathieson said.
Expected to support more than 600 jobs during its construction, which will be completed in 2018, the project will connect 1.2GW of new renewable electricity generation and, upon completion, will help meet the UK's renewable target at a lower cost to consumers.
Additionally, Ofgem has approved new transmission charging methodology, effective from April 2016.
SHE Transmission senior partner Martin Crouch said the approval is a major step forward for an essential upgrade to the high-voltage grid so that more renewable energy can connect to the networks.
"We have already started on the next phase of checking SHE's spending plans and we will ensure it completes the work as efficiently as possible so that consumers pay a fair price for this," Crouch said.
Image: The SHE pipeline project features more than 100 miles of underground and subsea cable. Photo: SSE © 2014.