How do you carry energy for 124 miles without leaving a footprint?

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Beauly Denny 400kv Overhead Transmission Line

The project delivered a new 200km transmission line, connecting remote wind farms in Scotland to the national grid and supporting the UK’s target of producing 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Scope of works

The Beauly – Denny project is essential in helping the UK to meet its target of producing 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Balfour Beatty is replacing the existing 132kV overhead line from Beauly near Inverness, to Denny, near Falkirk, with an upgraded 400kV 200km-long line, including the refurbishment of various substations along the route. The new line will allow the electricity produced from wind farms in isolated, periphery areas to enter the national grid and reach the areas where power is required.

The challenge

The sheer volume of wildlife, fauna, flora and sites of special scientific interest within the work area posed distinct environmental challenges, restricting when, where and what methods are used. The proposed route had to balance the need to minimise impact to designated environmental areas whilst keeping alignments over 100m away from residential buildings. Operating in some of the UK’s toughest terrain, at up to 700m above sea level, the project team faced high altitude, strong winds and tower icing, all representing significant risks to progress.

The solution

To achieve the highest standards of environmental management on this sensitive project, an experienced environmental team was mobilised prior to the award of the construction works. Over 120 detailed environmental management plans were produced, covering each unique geographical area of the project. As the works commence, our team of planners work with the operational managers and engineers to update the programme on a weekly basis, lowering the risk of error.

The results

The value of the project was rooted in how it impacted upon the ambitions of the renewable energy industry. Strategically important to Scotland, the completed project will help the country to meet nearly half of its target of 50% renewable energy supply by 2020. It will also support EU and UK targets of 20% of all energy requirements being met from renewable sources by 2020. The Balfour Beatty project team is on course to complete the new 400kV line in line with the programme in 2016. Certainty of cost and programme are important as the project moves nearer to completion.

Overhead line transmission
Work Stream
£422 million