Representing two years of hard work upgrading one of the north of Scotland’s longest-serving power lines, SSE won Utility Week’s Capital Project of the Year Award 2020 for doubling the capacity of the existing Fort Augustus – Fort William overhead line to accommodate growth in renewable electricity in the area.
The 44 kilometer line was originally built in the 1950’s following the passing of the Hydro Act, which brought power to the north of Scotland and the glens and permitted limited industrialization including a local aluminum smelter. After nearly 70 years in service, the project team needed to determine the best way to upgrade the line while minimizing the impact on the local communities surrounding it. The location of the line, which crosses public roads, railway lines, and the Caledonian Canal, following steep terrain throughout its route, added to the challenges that the team needed to be creative to overcome.
Pat Howe, Lead Project Manager stated: “Innovation was key to the project as the existing conductor was changed to an ACCC® Conductor, made of special aluminium wrapped around a carbon composite core. This change meant the conductor was twice as strong as steel, 70% lighter, and able to carry twice the amount of power. By using this technology and strengthening the existing towers only 5 of the 156 towers needed to be replaced, retaining 97% of the towers – sustainability at its best!
“The key to the success of this highly challenging project was the exceptional teamwork right across everyone in SSEN Transmission and all our contractor partners. This highly coveted award is, therefore, the perfect way for that to have been formally recognized and marks this project’s successful completion.”
CTC Global congratulates Pat Howe, Rob McDonald, the entire SSE crew, Balfour Beatty, and CTC Global’s manufacturing partner Lamifil, for completing such a challenging project and receiving this well-deserved recognition.