Highlanders are being urged to have their say on plans for an underground power line connecting a subsea cable from Western Isles windfarms to the national grid.
Scottish and Southern Energy will host consultation sessions next week in Beauly, Dundonnell, Ullapool and Marybank to outline its preferred option for a link between Little Loch Broom and Beauly.
Exhibitions are planned for 3pm-7pm at Beauly’s Lovat Arms next Monday, 4pm-7pm at the Dundonnell Hotel on Tuesday, 2.30pm-6.30pm at Ullapool Village Hall on Wednesday and 3.30pm-6.30pm at Marybank Hall on Thursday.
SSE spokesman Julian Reeves said: “We would encourage anybody with an interest in the project to take part in this process. This is now two years into a voluntary consultation process.
“We’ve been saying for two years that putting the line underground could be an option. We are now saying that is our preferred option and we’re very keen for people to come forward with their comments.”
A community group in Lewis and Harris yesterday secured an agreement with SSE allowing small community renewable energy projects to go ahead without having to wait for an undersea transmission cable to the mainland.
SSE has agreed to apply to energy watchdog Ofgem to make Lewis and Harris a “registered power zone” entitling them to manage the electricity transmission system within the islands in a different way, increasing the capacity of the network by 15 megawatts.
It means a number of small renewable projects can go ahead, with an internal grid connection.
By Iain Ramage
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