Moray’s MSP has reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring the region does not become blighted by a “web of pylons”.
Once complete, the Blackhillock electricity substation near Keith will be the largest of its kind in the UK – and the second biggest in northern Europe.
The area is already home to multiple power cable routes converging on the one point from locations across the north of Scotland.
Last night MSP Richard Lochhead criticised SSEN for not exhausting all avenues in investigating whether the power line route to the Dorenell wind farm could be buried out of sight.
He said: “Having been in touch with constituents directly affected by the proposed power lines, I know that many will be hugely disappointed that the application has been approved.
“Over the last six months I have been clear that in my view, SSEN should have done more in terms of looking at underground cabling where appropriate.
“With the expansion at Blackhillock I am keen to make sure that we don’t end up with a web of criss-crossing pylons across Speyside and Moray.
“I will be looking now at what options are available to my constituents who will be affected by this decision.”