Scotland business

North of Scotland power link project boosted by £500m loan

Wind turbines Image copyright AP
Image caption The new subsea cable will allow more renewable energy to be supplied to the electricity grid

The European Investment Bank is to provide a £500m loan to support the construction of a major new power link for the north of Scotland.

The project includes a 100 mile-long subsea cable between Spittal in Caithness and Blackhillock in Moray.

The new transmission link could add up to 1.2 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity to the grid.

It is being built by SSE subsidiary Scottish Hydro Electricity (SHE) Transmission.

The company is investing more than £1.1bn in the project, which is due for completion in 2018.

According to the European Investment Bank, the new link is expected to have sufficient capacity to meet the needs of about two million Scottish residents.

The laying of the subsea cable and associated onshore infrastructure works are expected to support 600 jobs during the construction phase.

SHE Transmission director David Gardner said: "This project represents the largest investment in electricity network in the north of Scotland since the hydro development era of the 1950s and we are proud to be an integral part of it; delivering value for money while reinforcing the network, allowing for the connection of new generation and providing a more resilient power supply to those who live and work in the area."

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