Work is now under way at Portgordon as part of a £1.2billion project that will see a new power cable linking Caithness and Moray.
Drilling exercises have begun in the bay and onshore at Portgordon Harbour aimed at ensuring the cable will be able to follow its planned route to the Blackhillock power substation near Keith.
It was announced in June last year that the project creating the 100-mile long power cable was to go ahead. Now locals around Portgordon have noted activity heralding the first steps in the project.
A spokesman for Scottish and Southern Energy said that the cable will be used to carry electricity generated by windfarms in the far north to Blackhillock. He confirmed: “We have started testing by drilling boreholes along the route of the land cables in Moray.
“We are testing that we are able to dig deep enough into the ground to install the cable, and we are confirming that we will be able to go along the planned route.
“When this is completed we will continue enabling work such as public road improvements.”
The cable contract is expected to provide hundreds of new jobs to Moray – however, SSE are unable to specify a timeframe for the project.