A minimum investment of GBP 2.2 billion is required between 2021 and 2026 to maintain and grow the north of Scotland transmission network, and a significant proportion of this investment will be aimed towards accommodating the growth in offshore wind in the north east, SSEN Transmission said in a recently issued draft Business Plan.
There is growing consensus of the need to fully decarbonise the economy to prevent the worst effects of global warming, with the UK Government committing to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and the Scottish Government committing to meet this target five years earlier, in 2045.
‘A Network for Net Zero’ aims to support both Governments’ targets and meet the needs and expectations expressed by stakeholders through five goals, one of which is to transport circa 10GW of renewable electricity to power 10 million homes.
Rob McDonald, Managing Director for SSEN Transmission, said the plans were a blueprint for continued investment in the flexible, safe and secure, low carbon electricity network needed to help decarbonise the economy.
“Our network already supports over 6GW of clean power but continued investment in the electricity transmission system is key to unlocking the further potential the North of Scotland can play in meeting Governments’ targets for net zero greenhouse gas emissions,” McDonald said.
“Our ‘Network for Net Zero’ proposal is a balanced package that makes a powerful case for the vital investment needed to deliver the clean energy transition, reflecting the ambition our stakeholders have told us they want to see, at an affordable cost to consumers, whilst also providing a fair return to investors.”
SSEN Transmission will now consult further with stakeholders ahead of submitting a final plan to Ofgem in December as part of its RIIO T2 price control process. As part of Ofgem’s consideration of the final plan, the regulator will consult with stakeholders during 2020 before determining what level of investment should be taken forward from 2021 through to 2026.
To deliver its plans, SSEN Transmission estimates its average cost to the GB consumer over the RIIO-T2 period will be around GBP 7 a year.