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Ofgem funds scheme to bury power lines beneath Scots national park

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Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is to remove two long stretches of electricity pylons and bury power cables across the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.  

Two sections of overhead cabling totalling 12km will be removed, along with 46 steel lattice pylon towers. The power line will then be buried beneath the park.  

Energy regulator Ofgem is providing £31M to remove pylons and cables from the Cairngorms National Park, as part of a £500M scheme to reduce the impact of energy infrastructure on protected landscapes.  

The overhead lines near the villages of Boat of Garten and Nethy Bridge are both in the busiest areas which are in the north of the park.  

SSEN is also undertaking several other engineering and landscaping proposals across its network as part of its Visual Impact of Scottish Transmission Assets (Vista) project.These include schemes in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. 

Where cables cannot be routed underground, SSEN is replacing steel pylons with less invasive timber poles or camouflaging pylons to mitigate their visual impact.  

SSEN VISTA project manager Euan Smith said the scheme would restore one of Scotland’s most valued landscapes. “Once complete, the removal of this additional infrastructure will leave a lasting legacy for current and future generations by improving the visual amenity within one of Scotland’s most precious landscapes,” he said.  

“We would like to thank all stakeholders who helped shape the development of our Cairngorm Vista schemes and we now look forward to progressing with these works, which we expect to complete by around 2020.” 

Over 300 pylons in the Cairngorms were removed in 2017 as part of upgrades to another 220km power line that crosses the park.

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