Date lodged: 23 January 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the use of underground or undersea cables or other alternatives to electricity pylons to carry power through (a) national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty and (b) new developments where feasible.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 1 February 2017
The design and construction of network infrastructure to transport electricity within Scotland is the responsibility of the network owners Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and Scottish Power Energy Networks in conjunction with the GB-wide system operator National Grid. Regulatory oversight of networks costs and protection of consumers’ interests is the responsibility of Ofgem.
Engineering and routeing proposals are developed in accordance with the network companies’ licence obligations to develop and maintain an efficient, co-ordinated and economical network. Proposals may include overhead lines, undergrounding or subsea cables. The Scottish Planning Policy states that consideration should be given to underground grid connections where possible.
The Scottish Government requires that applications by the Network owners have taken account of relevant national and local planning policies and that environmental impacts have been fully considered.