New power link for Arran and Kintyre

media captionKintyre now has a cable linking it to Ayrshire

A major new power line serving Arran and Kintyre has been completed, three years after snow storms left thousands of homes without electricity.

The new line includes a 41km (25 mile) sub-sea section, linking Kintyre with the Ayrshire coast near Hunterston.

Storms in March 2013 brought down power lines and left thousands of homes on Arran and the mainland without power.

Reinforcing the electricity network has cost £197m and taken just under three years to complete.

The work has been carried out by Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHE Transmission) and SP Energy Networks.

The three main elements are:

  • New grid substations at Crossaig on Kintyre and Hunterston Power Station
  • Replacement of 14km (8.7 miles) of 132kV overhead line connecting the Crossaig and Carradale substations
  • Construction of underground cable connection
image captionThe March 2013 snowstorm brought down powerlines

Pearse Murray, transmission director, for SP Energy Networks said it was a "highly complex" project which had been delivered ahead of time.

"As well as increasing security of electricity supply supplies, the new link will also provide new capacity and ensure that renewable energy generated in Kintyre can be transmitted to areas of demand in south and central Scotland and beyond."

More than 1,500 homes on the Isle of Arran and in Kintyre, Argyll and Bute, were left without power for a week after the storm on 22 March 2013.

Parts of Arran were cut off for 10 days.

Stuart Irvine, chairman of the East Kintyre Community Council, said it was reassuring that storms this winter had resulted in just the "tiniest flicker" to the lights, with no outage.

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