Plans have been approved for a new electrical substation near Peterhead.
Existing equipment at the St Fergus gas terminal has been left corroded after being battered by “extreme coastal conditions” over the years.
Under health and safety regulations, the equipment cannot be replaced and, instead, a new site was proposed for a replacement.
Yesterday Aberdeenshire Council unanimously granted permission, assured that steps were to be taken by SSE to minimise visual impact for nearby houses.
The original facility, near Peterhead, was built in 1975 and has been described as an important part of the Scottish network – providing a connection point for a variety of critical oil and gas infrastructure and multiple wind farms.
Now that the substation has been given the go-ahead, a new access road will be created off a stretch of the A90 between Peterhead and Fraserburgh to allow construction vehicles to access the site.
It is expected that construction will take place over 18 months, with work taking place during the daytime seven days a week.
The proposal is the latest in a series of large-scale national and international
energy developments proposed within the north-east, with other examples including a new substation at Boddam, the Hywind Offshore Wind Farm and linked battery storage facility as well as the North Connect Interconnector Station and associated interconnection to Norway.
It is hoped the developments can, according to Stephen Archer, director of infrastructure services: “reinforce the status of the wider Peterhead area as a national and international energy hub of significant strategic importance”.