Local residents are being invited by ScottishPower Transmission and National Grid to a public information event to see how work on the Western Link project at Hunterston has progressed, and to find out what to expect over the coming year.
The public information event is being held at the Seamill Hydro Hotel on Wednesday, 25 February 2015 between 2pm and 7pm.
The £1 billion Western Link project will increase the flow of electricity between England and Scotland, allowing for more renewable energy to be shared and helping to boost the security of electricity supplies across Britain. The contract for construction has been let to a consortium of engineering company Siemens and cable manufacturer and installer Prysmian.
Because of its coastal location at Hunterston, the majority of equipment will be housed in buildings to protect it from corrosion. The construction of the electricity substation building is complete, and work is well under way to prepare for the arrival of the electricity equipment.
The converter station covers a much larger area, and a great deal of preparation was needed before construction of the buildings could start. The companies expect that the ten main buildings will be completed during the summer.
Northern Converter Station Project Manager Niall Armstrong from ScottishPower Transmission said: “We appreciate that this is a major project for the area, and we’re doing all we can to minimise the effects of construction on local people. This includes reusing a lot of the materials on site, as well as using local companies to support us as much as possible.
“We’ve installed a large proportion of the underground cable across the land from the compound up to the converter station. We expect to complete this, and also the installation of a short section of underground cable to connect the converter station to the electricity substation, during the year ahead.
“We’re currently working to complete a drilling programme from our temporary compound on Portencross Road to install pipes out into Ardneil Bay. In spring next year we plan to pull the electricity cables back through these pipes from a barge that will be anchored in the bay.”
At Ardneil Bay the underground cable links to a subsea marine cable that Prysmian is installing in the Irish Sea. This is approximately 385km long and travels southwards, to the west of the Isle of Man, before coming ashore on the Wirral, in North West England.
The cable then goes underground across the Wirral for around 30km, before linking to a second new converter station being built at Deeside, in Flintshire. The converter stations are needed because the Western Link is transporting direct current electricity, which must be changed to alternating current before it can be used in homes and businesses. Direct current is the most efficient way of transmitting the large volume of electricity that the Western Link will carry.
Further information on the project can be found on the website www.westernhvdclink.co.uk.
The project has a dedicated community relations team who can be contacted by calling 0800 021 7878 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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