SSEN Abernethy Substation Extension reaches major milestone with arrival of new transformer units

An ongoing substation extension project in Abernethy in Perthshire has reached a major milestone with the recent arrival of two new transformer units to the development.

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An ongoing substation extension project in Abernethy in Perthshire has reached a major milestone with the recent arrival of two new transformer units to the development.

The new 120 MVA transformer units, each weighing around 100 tonnes, are key components in the ongoing development of the substation extension and will replace the existing infrastructure at the site, playing a major role in increasing electricity capacity at the substation and helping to transport clean renewable energy generated in the area. 

Teams from SSEN Transmission and principal contractor Freedom Group have been working since construction began in October last year to deliver the substation extension, which once complete will allow for the connection of new renewable electricity to the local electricity distribution network. 

So far teams have completed the new platform extension and installed the new internals roads which allowed the transformers to be delivered adjacent to the newly created bunds.  High-voltage cable installation and ducting for both circuits is also nearing completion.

The two transformers were manufactured by SGB in Germany and delivered to site by J B Rawcliffes under Police escort from Immingham Docks near Hull. Contractor ROSH are currently installing the transformers on behalf of SGB, with installation of the first transformer nearing completion.  The second is expected to be commissioned in September.

Teams are now working on further electrical work to install the remaining busbar and cable components on site.   Following the successful commissioning of the new substation extension, the old plant will be removed and recycled in stages. 

To help mitigate the visual impact of the new extension and improve biodiversity at the site, teams will extend the existing tree line around the substation and plant a variety of native trees to help screen it from view.  Bunds are also being built along the edge of the development next to the local U75 road, which will be planted with native species of hedgerows and trees to help improve the natural wildlife as well as reduce the visual impact.  SSEN Transmission is committed to delivering biodiversity net gain for all projects by 2025, and the planting of native species around the site will help contribute to a sustainable site which is rich in wildlife.

SSEN Transmission Project Manager Ewan Macfarlane said:  “The Abernethy Substation Extension project is moving at pace now that the two transformer units have safely arrived at their final location.

“We have been coordinating and planning for their safe delivery since the earliest stages of developing plans for the new substation extension, so we’re pleased that they arrived here safely and worked to ensure we kept disruption to a minimum for the local community and road users.   

 “With the transformers now onsite and most of the primary plant now installed, we are well on track for the new substation extension to be complete and operational by March next year.

“We thank the local community and stakeholders for their continued patience while we work to complete the Abernethy Substation Extension, and will continue to keep them updated as we progress.”

The Abernethy Substation Extension project involves constructing an extension to the existing electricity substation in Abernethy, allowing for future connection and onward transportation of clean renewable energy generated in the area.  To learn more about the project visit:

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