Work is set to begin on a new 100-mile long power cable that will link a Keith electricity sub-station with Caithness.
Described as a “crucial’ part of plans to upgrade the north of Scotland’s electricity network, planning permission for the extension of the Blackhillock substation was granted two years ago.
Now work is set to begin with construction on the main compound starting in September followed by five years of work laying the sub-sea link over the Moray Firth that will eventually carry 1200mw of electricity.
A spokesman for the Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission company said: “We are developing plans to upgrade and reinforce the existing electricity transmission network which will help support the forecast growth in renewable energy generation in the North of Scotland and Northern Isles.
“As part of the proposal to develop a sub-sea electricity transmission connection between Caithness and Moray we need to carry out extensive work to the existing sub-station at Blackhillock.
“The Caithness to Moray project is a crucial part of the biggest transformation in the north’s electricity network since the hydro development era of the 1950’s.”
Residents in Keith were given a preview of the planned works last week at the Ugie House Hotel.