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SSEN Transmission will recruit 400 new employees across the north of Scotland in the next 12 months and is setting out ambitious plans to contribute to the development of 200 properties across the north of Scotland as a legacy of its Pathway to 2030 £20bn investment programme.

Upto 400 jobs could be created as part of the power line project.

The investment programme consists of new overhead lines, substations, convertor stations and subsea links and is part of a major upgrade of the electricity transmission system.

The recruitment drive, which will create long-term, skilled, green employment opportunities comes as SSEN Transmission announced major changes to its upgrade plans following extensive early consultation with local communities and stakeholders.

Rob McDonald, Managing Director of SSEN Transmission, said: “This is one of the biggest investment programmes in the north of Scotland for almost a century.

"Our £20bn programme will help unlock cleaner, more secure energy for homes and businesses for generations to come.

“The north of Scotland can be a clean energy powerhouse and is set to play a leading role in delivering UK and Scottish Government energy security and net zero targets, but the benefits go way beyond energy.

“Our investments will enable thousands of skilled, green jobs across the region, placing multi-million-pound contracts with local supply chain partners and investing in community funds - creating billions of economic value for Scotland.

“The benefits are compelling, but as with any major infrastructure programme, we need to ensure that we effectively consult and act on the views of local communities. This is exactly what we are doing, and in outlining a range of significant alterations to our plans– directly in response to community feedback – we have shown that we will act on the views of our stakeholders wherever possible. “We now look forward to ongoing constructive engagement with local communities and wider stakeholders to help further inform the development of this critical national infrastructure in a way that balances the needs of all stakeholders, alongside delivering a lasting and positive legacy, unlocking the north of Scotland’s energy and economic potential.” First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “SSEN Transmission’s Pathway to 2030 programme is a major investment in the future of our electricity networks in the north of Scotland, and this latest announcement demonstrates it is paying dividends in terms of creating long-term, high quality green jobs as well as benefits for the wider economy. “Projects like this embody and support the ambitions of our draft Energy Strategy, and will be vital to delivering a fair and just transition for our energy workers. It is clear that SSEN Transmission is committed to investing in the skills and talent in the north of Scotland as we move towards that crucial just transition to net zero, which is necessary not just for our energy needs, but for the sake of the planet.” SSEN Transmission has now published Reports on Consultations across its three new overhead line projects and associated substation and convertor station developments. These reports provide a summary of the extensive feedback received, how this has been considered and confirmation of which routes and substations are now being taken forward to the next stage of development. Changes to the plans informed by the feedback include: At Blackhillock in Moray, the proposed new substation site is moving from that consulted on earlier this year to the east of Keith, to one of the other shortlisted sites to the south east of the existing Blackhillock substation. The previously proposed new substation at Fiddes in the Mearns is moving to a new site in Fetteresso Forest in close proximity to the existing Fetteresso substation. Several changes to and decisions on overhead line routes to reduce community impacts. In further recognition of community feedback, SSEN Transmission will seek to rationalise cumulative infrastructure impacts through the removal and undergrounding of existing transmission lines, where technically practical and appropriate, and subject to all necessary planning consents and landowner agreements. Work to identify and assess potential sections of existing overhead line where their removal will reduce cumulative impacts is ongoing, with an update expected as part of the next round of public consultation on overhead line alignments and more detailed substation designs in early 2024. Community Benefit Following the recent UK Government community benefit announcement, SSEN Transmission expects over £100m of wider community benefit funding to be available to local communities across the north of Scotland. This significant pot of funding will enable lasting legacies to be delivered across the region, helping communities prosper. Applications for SSEN Transmission’s initial £10m community benefit fund will open in Summer 2024, with first funds expected to be disseminated by the Autumn. To oversee the delivery of its community benefit fund, SSEN Transmission will also shortly be recruiting for a new independent board. A lasting accommodation legacy To ensure that the development of these critical infrastructure projects impact local people and places in a positive way, SSEN Transmission is also announcing the first part of its accommodation strategy. This includes a commitment to contribute to the development of at least 200 properties across the north of Scotland, which upon completion of the transmission infrastructure projects, will be handed to local organisations to provide accommodation for local people across the north of Scotland, delivering a lasting legacy for future generations. This is expected to include new and renovated homes, as well as fully serviced sites for temporary accommodation camps for workers, delivered to the standard required to support future housing and wider economic development activities. To help inform its accommodation strategy SSEN Transmission has commenced engagement with Local Authorities and wider stakeholders to help identify local property needs in location of projects, including to help address the rural housing crisis. Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print. Major jobs boost for the north and north-east after community-led changes to £20bn electricity upgrades announced

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