Transmission constraints between the Scotland-England border may limit new wind developments

Massive wind developments along the England-Scotland boarder have prompted transmission capacity concerns. According to recent forecasts released by National Grid Transco, some 4.5 GW of new wind capacity in Scotland will require reinforcement across several transmission boundaries before these projects can be grid connected.

The interim seven year report shows that for any additional connections north of the ‘B5’ North-South boundary, there is no spare capacity. Furthermore, the report warns, it is unlikely any further generation could be accommodated much before 2010, even assuming system reinforcements commenced immediately. The UK’s system peak demand is forecast to rise from 62.7 GW in 2004 – 2005 to 68.6 GW by 2010 – 2011. Installed capacity is projected to increase by 11.7 GW to 87.2 GW over the same period, a high proportion of which are wind farms either on or offshore, and largely located towards the northern extremities of the transmission system.

The report, forecasting system demand and supply out to 2010 – 2011, has been produced in conjunction with the two Scottish transmission companies Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Ltd and SP Transmission Ltd. For the full report see:

Meanwhile, an £11 million ($21 million) electrical supply system to prevent weather-related blackouts has been completed along the border area. The two-year project includes 11 sub-stations that allow remote-control switching without having to access damaged electricity pylons. The improvements also included increasing the storm-resilience of the system and two rings of overhead circuit, both starting at Eccles.