Electricity Transmission: paving the way towards a low-carbon energy system

I’m taking a keen interest in the proceedings taking place in Paris at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. With a failed attempt at securing an international agreement in Copenhagen in 2009, there are high hopes that this Conference will help us all remain on the path to a low carbon economy.

SHE Transmission has been working hard to connect renewable energy created in the north of Scotland. We have delivered a number of large infrastructure projects that have reinforced the network, allowing the increase in renewable generation to be connected to the grid and for extra capacity to come online in the years to come.

I know we have an important role to help deliver a low-carbon economy. Not just in connecting renewable energy generators but the approach we take to conduct our operations. The environment is front and centre when we plan and deliver our projects, including our commitment to innovate to find ways of reducing negative environmental impacts.

In the past three years SHE Transmission has connected around 500MW of renewable generation in the north of Scotland. And there’s more to come in the next two years:  a further 3GW has been granted consent, and with the completion of projects like Beauly-Denny we have room for an additional 5GW to be connected.

We will continue to play our role in reinforcing and upgrading the transmission network in the north of Scotland to allow renewable energy to play its part in keeping the lights on everywhere else. Importantly, low carbon electricity is potentially a solution to reduce the carbon emissions from our cars and public transport, and may even provide a low carbon way of heating our homes. If the energy that is powering these clean fuel technologies is also coming from renewable energy sources, then the move to a low carbon-economy can truly be realised.

Hopefully the conclusions from the UN Paris Convention are positive and help make sure we stay on the journey to a global low carbon economy. I know, in Scotland, SHE Transmission is taking a leading role and we have every intention of helping to deliver it.

About the author

Dave Gardner Director of Transmission

David joined what was the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board in 1986 and has held various development and construction positions mainly in the generation side of the business including hydro, wind, CHP and CCGT. In 2007 Dave became SSE's Head of Ventures where he led a team responsible for delivering over £120m of investments in various cleantech businesses. In 2010 Dave became Director of Onshore Renewables and was responsible for the development of SSE's onshore renewable energy projects in the UK and Ireland. This includes the construction of over 1000MW of onshore wind farm capacity including Hadyard Hill, Clyde, Griffin and Gordonbush. Then in late 2012 Dave took over the position of Director of Transmission or SHE Transmission where he is now responsible for the delivery of the £5bn transmission portfolio which will facilitate the connection of the North of Scotland future renewable energy generation projects.

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