Aberdeen City and Shire - Strategic Development Planning Authority

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Electricity interconnector project at Peterhead submitted for planning permission

Northconnect, a project to link the electricity transmission systems of Scotland and Norway with a subsea cable, took an important step forward with a planning application submitted for the onshore elements of the project in Aberdeenshire.

The interconnector would have a capacity of 1.4GW and enable the transmission of electricity in both directions between Scotland and Norway. The benefits of the scheme would include increasing security of electricity supply and reduced CO2 emissions by helping to balance intermittent sources of renewable energy (largely Scottish wind) with predictable sources (largely Norwegian pumped storage hydro).

The 650km offshore cable is proposed to run from Longhaven (south of Peterhead) to the end of the Hardangerfjord (east of Bergen) in Norway. The onshore infrastructure in Aberdeenshire largely consists of a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Converter Station and underground cables.

The application can be viewed on the Aberdeenshire Council website - APP/2015/1121, with the period for comments open until 21 May 2015. The current application is restricted to the converter station and connection to the electricity substation, other consents (including offshore) will be required before the project can proceed.

The Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Plan highlights the potential for an electricity interconnector at Peterhead as one of its proposals for the Peterhead area in recognition of the potential energy transmission and climate change benefits it can bring.

The project is identified as a 'National Development' in National Planning Framework 3 which was published by the Scottish Government in June 2014 and a 'Project of Common Interest' by the European Union.

Northconnect follows hard on the heals of the planning application last month for the Carbon Capture and Storage proposal by Shell and SSE at Peterhead Power Station, another 'National Development' supported by the Strategic Development Plan.

The Northconnect application will be determined at a meeting of Aberdeenshire Council later this year.

Further information on the Northconnect project can be found from the project website - http://northconnect.no/

30 April 2015 
Peterhead SDP Focus