Campaigners warn of new pylons linking Moray and Inverness

Campaigners say that they are determined to halt plans to create an increasing number of overhead power lines – including one they say is planned to link Inverness and Keith.

However, the firm behind the creation of overhead lines – Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHE-T) – have insisted that no such plans are being made.

The campaign group Save Strathdearn was formed originally to fight the increasing number of wind turbine projects throughout the north of Scotland.

Highlighting the controversy that surrounded a £350million power line system between Beauly and Denny which went live earlier this year, co-ordinator for the campaign group, Pat Wells, said: “It will not be forgotten that the views of thousands of objectors to the Beauly-Denny power line were ignored by the Scottish Government.”

Mrs Wells suggested that surveys were already taking place for a new line of pylons linking Beauly with the Blackhillock power substation near Keith.

Earlier this week the contract for developing the Blackhillock site, which will link it via two undersea power cables to Caithness, was awarded to Swiss firm ABB.

However, a spokeswoman for SHE-T said there were no plans to link Blackhillock and Beauly with overhead cables. She said: “There are no plans for a line between Beauly and Blackhillock – at the moment there is no need for that.

“As a company we own the network in the north of Scotland and we are obliged under the terms of our licence to make connections to the National Grid if they are needed.

“There are a lot of possible scenarios which are looked at for anything up to 40 years and based on the outlook there probably will have to be further upgrades.

“This is constantly changing and there are several factors which have to be taken into account.

“There is a completely blank canvas – we do not have a route or the height of pylons. If we do decide to carry out an upgrade then we will fully consult.”

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