Moray Firth subsea cable approved

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm SSE said the subsea cable would support planned renewable energy projects in the Moray Firth area

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A planned subsea electricity cable connecting two sides of the Moray Firth has been given approval by the industry regulator.

The 100-mile underground and subsea line, between Caithness and Moray, could add 1.2 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity to the grid.

Green energy schemes proposed for the area include plans for more than 300 wind turbines off the Moray Firth.

SSE said Ofgem's approval of the scheme meant it could be finished in 2018.

The project is being led by SSE subsidiary Scottish Hydro Electricity Transmission (SHE) which said the subsea line would help meet targets to generate more renewable power, at a lower cost to customers.

Martin Crouch, from energy regulator Ofgem, said: "This is a major step forward for an essential upgrade to the high-voltage grid so that more renewable energy can connect to the networks.

"Today's decision means that the company can move forward with work on the upgrade.

"We have already started on the next phase of checking SHE's spending plans and we will ensure it completes the work as efficiently as possible so that consumers pay a fair price for this."

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "If Scotland is to fully tap into the massive renewable energy resources that lie both on and offshore then we need to see new or improved transmission connections like this one.

"However, to fully unlock Scotland's renewable potential we need to see electricity transmission charges that do not unduly penalise some of the best locations to generate clean energy in the entire UK.

"We therefore also welcome the news that Ofgem has listened and acted on the calls that we and others have made to improve the transmission charging regime."

Fraser Grieve, Highlands and Islands director of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, said it was a "welcome step".

He added: "By both increasing the capacity and the resilience of the transmission network investors should now have more confidence to push forward with renewable energy developments."

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Scotland Live

  1.  
    15:51: Unlucky Keatings

    Scotland's Dan Keatings comes agonisingly close to a gymnastics medal, finishing fourth in the men's floor final. He was 0.023 points away from a bronze.

    However the 24-year-old can console himself with a silver in yesterday's all-round men's competition.

    Daniel Keatings failed to add a bronze to his silver medal he won yesterday

    Scotland's David Millar has finished 8th in the men's cycling time trial with a time of +2:14.45, and afterwards he paid tribute to the Glasgow crowd by saying "It was like a Tour De France stage out there."

    Meanwhile, in the lawn bowls, Scotland have defeated South Africa in the men's fours quarter-finals and will play Australia at 17:30 for a place Friday's final.

     
  2.  
    15:39: Glasgow tremendous Nick Hope BBC Olympic sports reporter

    International Paralympic Committee spokesperson Craig Spence says the public response to para-sports at Glasgow 2014 has been "absolutely tremendous".

    Erraid Davies
     
  3.  
    15:32: Aberdeen helicopter drama

    This picture captures the dramatic moment ground crew manually released the landing gear of an offshore helicopter as it came into land at Aberdeen International Airport.

    Helicopter hovering while ground crew fix the front wheel.

    The CHC-operated S92 helicopter - with 16 people on board - reported a problem with the landing gear when the front wheel of the aircraft would not deploy so crew on the ground had to do it manually as it hovered around 8ft above their heads.

    Read more in the Evening Express

     
  4.  
    15:26: Daley mania begins Heather Dewar BBC Scotland

    tweets: #tomdaley and #matthewdixon at #glasgow2014

    Tom Daley poses with young Matthew Dixon
     
  5.  
    15:10: A90 car crash

    Two children have been airlifted to hospital after a two-car crash on the A90 near Fraserburgh.

    Five people were involved in the incident, which happened earlier today just south of Rathen.

     
  6.  
    A/M74 delays 15:05:

    @BBCTravelScot tweets: A74/M Lockerbie - half hour delays northbound - down to one lane at 18 Lockerbie South to recover RTA. Long Qs back to J20 Eaglesfield. T.T.

     
  7.  
    Dan the man 14:59:

    @BBCSportScotland tweets: @DanKeatings is about to go for glory in the #gymnastics Men's Floor final.

    You can watch Dan in action live

     
  8.  
    Go David! 14:53:

    BBC Scotland reporter Kevin Keane watched David Millar whizzing past.

    David Millar
     
  9.  
    Glasgow lessons 14:46:

    @BBCScot2014 tweets: Australia gets ready to take over the #CommonwealthGames - what lessons can they learn from Glasgow's example?

    Scotland 2014 is on BBC Two Scotland from 22:30.

     
  10.  
    Kenny Ireland 14:41:

    Actor Kenny Ireland - best known for his role in TV comedy Benidorm - has died, aged 68, following a battle with cancer.

    Kenny Ireland

    The veteran Scottish actor and director had played swinger Donald Stewart in the ITV show since 2007.

    Mr Ireland was director at Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum Theatre for more than a decade until 2003.

     
  11.  
    Ballroom blitz 14:34:

    Lorna Cassidy took this picture at the time trials in Glasgow. A rider was passing one of the city's landmarks.

    Cyclist
     
  12.  
    Millar time 14:31:

    Commonwealth Games champion David Millar is on his way in the cycling time trial.

    Watch it live here.

     
  13.  
    Goose control 14:25:

    A project to control the goose population in Orkney has been renewed for a third year.

    Geese

    Local residents will be licensed to shoot greylag geese, with the meat available for sale at shops on the islands and online.

    The population of greylag geese nesting in the area has increased over the last 20 years, but shooting in recent years has helped keep numbers down.

     
  14.  
    Merrilees on court 14:18:

    BBC Sport Scotland tweets: Kieran Merrilees is on court in the #badminton singles - watch it live here

    Kieran Merrilees
     
  15.  
    Wales warning 14:01:

    Team Wales has sent an email to its athletes about their behaviour for the rest of the Commonwealth Games, BBC Wales has learned.

    Gareth Evans

    The message, signed by Chef de Mission Brian Davies, tells them it would be "disrespectful" if anyone "were to let themselves, their team-mates and their families down by misbehaving in any way during their time here in Glasgow".

    The move follows the arrest of an Australian weightlifter, following an alleged assault on Welsh weightlifter Gareth Evans.

     
  16.  
    Expensive deliveries 13:36:

    The UK government has unveiled new principles aimed at tackling "ridiculous" delivery charges faced by shoppers in "remote" parts of the UK.

    Keyboard

    Ministers have set out best practice for businesses such as couriers, online retailers and delivery firms.

     
  17.  
    13:22: Meet the namesakes

    Anne Shepherd emailed us this fantastic picture of her son Kit with his (near) namesakes, from St Kitts and Nevis.

    Kit Shepherd with the St Kitts and Nevis table tennis team

    Members of the islands' table tennis team were delighted to pose with their biggest Scottish fans, Kit and his cousin David.

     
  18.  
    13:10: Heatly progresses

    Scots diver James Heatly has eased his way into tonight's final of the 3m springboard event at the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

    Scottish diver James Heatly

    The 17-year-old from Edinburgh, grandson of Sir Peter Heatly, who won three Commonwealth diving golds in the 1950s, qualified in fifth place for his favoured event following a great performance in yesterday's 1m springboard.

     
  19.  
    12:58: 'One big family'

    One of the great successes of Glasgow 2014 has been the Clydesiders, the red and grey volunteer army tasked with keeping the Games running and keeping the spectators smiling.

    Clydesider doing high-five

    BBC Scotland's Laura Pettigrew meets the "warm and friendly" faces of the Games.

     
  20.  
    12:37: Starstruck

    @Team_Scotland tweets: The moment 13 year old Erraid Davies met her fans for the 1st time.

    Erraid Davies
     
  21.  
    New towns 12:24:

    Scotland may need up to eight new towns to help avert a potential housing crisis, a special commission has said.

    Houses

    The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors-led group called for several new communities, which could be new towns or extensions to existing ones.

    The Scottish Housing Commission also said the private rental sector needed to be expanded.

     
  22.  
    Show cancelled 12:14:

    An Israeli show at the Edinburgh Fringe has been cancelled after only one performance following a protest by a pro- Palestinian group.

    The City, a hip-hop opera by a theatre company from Jerusalem which receives funding from the Israeli government, was already the focus of a campaign.

    Demonstration

    Two weeks ago, 50 Scottish artists and writers signed a letter calling for the cancellation of The City.

     
  23.  
    Boxing fan 12:05:

    A man who was watching his brother compete in the Commonwealth Games has been fined for throwing a plastic bottle which struck a child.

    Laith Samardali, 25, from Perth, Australia, admitted throwing the bottle at a man during a boxing event where his brother Jordan was competing.

    The bottle missed the man and hit the seven-year-old boy.

     
  24.  
    Rain warning 11:58:

    The Met Office says we could be in for a soaking on Sunday.

    Met Office webiste

    "A developing low pressure area will move north across Scotland on Sunday. Rainfall totals will be very variable but could well exceed 50 mm in 12-24 hours in places, whilst winds are likely to gust 40-50 mph over some coasts and hills."

     
  25.  
    Dreich

    @strathearnrose tweets: Jamaican athlete not impressed by Scottish weather? Most Scots aren't impressed by the Scottish weather! @usainbolt

     
  26.  
    Travel news 11:45:

    @BBCTravelScot tweets: A74(M) N/B clsd RTC two lorries involved between J19 B725 (Ecclefechan) and J18 B723 (Lockerbie South). Police directing traffic.

     
  27.  
    Cycling 11:38:

    Linda Villumsen of New Zealand takes gold in the women's time trial.

    Linda Villumsen

    Emma Pooley of England takes silver and Australia's Katrin Garfoot takes bronze.

    Katie Archibald of Scotland was in fifth after a brave ride that ran out of steam.

     
  28.  
    Spectators' view 11:27:

    Samantha and Tom from Uddingston sent us this great shot of the athletics at Hampden on Wednesday.

    Hampden

    They say they had perfect seats to watch the likes of Kirani James and Greg Rutherford win gold medals.

     
  29.  
    On her way... 11:15:

    BBC Scotland's Kevin Keane tweets: Scotland's Katie Archibald passing the crossing point near Stepps. Big cheers here. #Glasgow2014

    Katie Archibald in the time trial
     
  30.  
    Celtic suffer heavy defeat 11:08:

    Away from the Games, Celtic suffered a nightmare first-leg defeat in the third round qualifying for the Champions League.

    Celtic defeated in Poland

    The Parkhead side lost 4-1 to Legia Warsaw last night after taking an early lead in Poland.

    Read more and listen to an interview with Celtic manager Ronny Deila here.

     
  31.  
    Bottle fine 11:00:

    A 25-year-old man from Perth, Australia has been fined £400 for throwing a bottle at a man at the Commonwealth Games boxing event.

    Laith Samardali is the brother of Australian boxer Jordan.

    He missed the man and the plastic bottle hit a seven-year-old child.

     
  32.  
    Bolt quotes 10:53:

    The Times has released its transcript of a conversation in which it claimed Usain Bolt made disparaging remarks about the Commonwealth Games.

    Usain Bolt

    The newspaper reported on Wednesday that the Olympic 100m champion said he was not enjoying the Glasgow Games.

    But Bolt described the article as "nonsense" and "lies" on Twitter and later told reporters the Games were "awesome".

     
  33.  
    10:43:

    @millarmind tweets: 14:28 start time today for me. Going to be a proud moment rolling off the start ramp.

     
  34.  
    Yesterday's highlights 10:31:

    BBC Scotland's Andy Burke presents a video round-up of all yesterday's highlights from the Games, including Dan Keating's fantastic silver in the all-round gymnastics, and Guy Learmonth, who ran the race of his life to qualify for the 800m final alongside David Rudisha.

    Guy Learmonth

    Watch the video here.

    You can also read about all yesterday's best bits.

     
  35.  
    Time trial latest 10:29:

    BBC reporter Kevin Keane captured this image of Antri Christoforou of Cyprus.

    Antri Christoforou

    The leading riders in the Games time trial are passing Hogganfield Loch on their way to East Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire.

     
  36.  
    They're off! 10:17:

    @BBCSport tweets: Live women's road cycling on @BBCOne next - Olympic medalist Emma Pooley's last race before retirement #Glasgow2014

    Emma Pooley

    Or, if you live to the north and east of Glasgow, you can just get out and watch it.

     
  37.  
    10:07:

    @NetworkRailSCOT tweets: The line at Lenzie has now reopened however residual delays will be experienced until after the morning peak. Sorry for the disruption.

     
  38.  
    Cycle man 09:59:

    @BBCJohnBeattie tweets: Interviewing the man who lent the Malawi team some bikes

    John Beattie

    Catch John on BBC Radio Scotland from 12:00.

     
  39.  
    Legacy? 09:49:

    Glasgow will benefit from the vast amount of money spent hosting the Commonwealth Games - according to Clyde Gateway Regeneration.

    Over £500m pound has been spent on hosting and an entire athlete's village built in the east end - which will be used as housing after the games.

    Especially if you live in Glasgow, how much do expect by way of lasting change?

    Contact us on newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

     
  40.  
    Paper review 09:36:

    BBC Scotland has a guide to this morning's papers.

    Front pages 31 July

    As well as Glasgow 2014 (of course) there are reports on Nato and the Baltic states, and the challenge to the NHS in Scotland of treating an increasing number of older pensioners.

     
  41.  
    Keep smiling 09:27:

    Debbie Paterson sent us this picture of Clydesiders at the hockey arena having fun with the local police.

    Clydesiders and police officers

    We'd love to see your images from Glasgow 2014. Send them to newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

     
  42.  
    Medal haul 09:18:

    Scotland's Daniel Keatings took silver and Viorel Etko claimed bronze on day seven of Glasgow 2014.

    Medal table

    Keatings finished second in the men's all-around gymnastics final at the Hydro. Etko defeated Malta's Adam Vella to win the wrestling bronze medal in the 61kg.

    Team Scotland is currently in fourth place in the table, with a total of 39 medals. England are top with 105.

     
  43.  
    Australian athlete held by police 09:10:

    An Australian weightlifter who won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games has been held by police following an assault on a Welsh athlete.

    Francois Etoundi, 29, is due to appear at Glasgow Sheriff court.

    The alleged assault on the unnamed athlete is said to have taken place at the athletes' village in Glasgow at about 06:00 on Wednesday.

    A Team Wales spokesman said: "We're aware of an incident that occurred involving a member of Team Wales."

     
  44.  
    More rail disruption 08:59:

    Scotrail tweets: services between Glasgow Queen Street and Stirling may be cancelled, delayed or diverted via Cumbernauld at short notice

     
  45.  
    Taking flight 08:57:

    An independent economic group has called for the future expansion of London airports to take Scotland and other parts of the UK into consideration.

    Busy airport

    The Scottish Council for Development and Industry has also lobbied for action to increase long-haul services from Scottish airports.

     
  46.  
    Mapping the route 08:42:

    The cycling time trial is a gruelling course that takes in North Lanarkshire and parts of East Dunbartonshire before heading back to Glasgow.

    Time trial map

    Thousands are expected to line the route - don't forget to send us your pictures as the cylists whizz by. You can tweet them using #ScotlandLive or email them here.

     
  47.  
    Today at the Games 08:29:

    Scottish athletes are in action in plethora of events today.

    Away from David Millar and Katie Archibald in this morning's time trial, individual apparatus finals in the gymnastics start at 15:00, with all-round silver medal winner Dan Keating holding Scottish hopes in the pommel-horse.

    In the athletics, Eilidh Child goes for gold in the 400m hurdles, while para athletes Meggan Dawson-Farrell and Samantha Kinghorn will compete in the T54 1500m.

    Eilidh Child

    Full coverage of every Games event is available on the BBC, across TV, radio and online.

     
  48.  
    08:23: Contact us

    Much of the cycling time trial today can be watched free - if you can find a good vantage point.

    What has been your favourite free event of Glasgow 2014?

    And if you are at the cycling, send us your thoughts and your pictures.

    Text 80295, email newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

     
  49.  
    08:15: Coming up Louise White Presenter, Morning Call

    Parcel delivery firms are to be given a "statement of principles" to try to improve things for people in "remote" parts of the UK. I'll be asking: When it comes to deliveries are you being punished by your postcode?

    And more than a dozen family pairings are competing in Glasgow 2014. Has sibling rivalry helped or hindered you in life?

    Morning Call on BBC Radio Scotland starts at 08:50. Phone me on 0500 92 95 00; Text 80295; email morningcallscotland@bbc.co.uk

    Listen live from 08:50.

     
  50.  
    07:58: Train disruption

    @BBCTravelScot tweets: Disruption trains GW Queen St/ Edn Waverley,/GQS and Perth and GQS and Alloa All services through Croy being delayed or disrupted.

     
  51.  
    07:55: Local hero

    Who to cheer on at the cycling time trial?

    David Millar

    A favourite with the crowds is likely to be defending Commonwealth Games champion David Millar.

    Also watch out for England's Alex Dowsett, who won silver at Delhi 2010.

    In the women's race, young Scottish talent Katie Archibald will get her chance to shine.

     
  52.  
    07:40: Wild paths

    More than 120km of paths across Scotland's national parks are set to be renovated thanks to a £3m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    Highland glen

    Eroded pathways in the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs are to be restored and upgraded as part of the People and the Mountains project.

     
  53.  
    07:30: Cycling trials

    Major road closures are being made in and around Glasgow ahead of the cycling time trial.

    Cyclist

    The 40km route - 30km for women - starts and ends at Glasgow Green.

    The single loop course takes in a huge swathe of countryside in North Lanarkshire and cuts across East Dunbartonshire before coming back to Glasgow via the city's east end.

     
  54.  
    07:17: Kylie confirmed

    Kylie Minogue will perform alongside Lulu, Deacon Blue and Dougie MacLean at the closing ceremony of Glasgow 2014.

    Kylie

    (OK, it was confirmed yesterday, but who can resist another picture of Kylie?)

     
  55.  
    07:11: Today's weather BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    It'll be cloudy, with rain through the Highlands and Islands drifting north and east.

    A wet start for the south west too, moving east to Lanarkshire but with bright spells later across Tayside, the central belt and Southern Uplands.

    However, expect some hefty showers after lunch with a risk of thunder. Less windy than of late with highs of 17C to 20C.

     
  56.  
    07:01: Sandy Murray BBC Scotland news

    Welcome to BBC Scotland's live coverage of news, sport, weather and travel across the country on Thursday 31 July. It is day eight of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and we'll be keeping you up to date on all the Team Scotland action. We're here until 23:00.

     

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