There is a need at a strategic level to communicate concerns to all layers of government to help SPEN recognise the need for a flexible approach in order to:
a) Appreciate that any opposition is directed against SPEN’s current proposal not the need for the project itself.
b) Understand we want to work with SPEN to identify a more acceptable solution.
c) Generate a solution that preserves the special nature of the area; retaining the visual amenity as well as the cultural and historical heritage.
d) Protect Dumfries & Galloway’s reputation as a place of choice for tourism and recreation as well as inward migration.
e) Look on the sub-sea link alternative as part of a strategic European electricity grid network infrastructure to maximise the efficient use of renewable energy.
f) Recognise consumers WTP to mitigate new transmission infrastructure and that this willingness extends to all rural areas not just NSAs.
g) Encourage the use of whole life-cycle costs when comparing alternative capital proposals.
There is also merit in working with SPEN at a technical level to evaluate the alternatives further, free of capital cost constraints. Such co-operation might include activities such as:
a) Understanding how Amber Rudd’s announcements on the 18 and 22 June affect SPENs assumptions.
b) Exploring SPENs projections for other renewable generation over the next 10-20 years to determine network expansion capability.
c) Appreciating where future load centres may arise in the region, if at all.
d) Conducting load-flow analysis to understand how well the design capacity of proposed circuits cope with normal and abnormal conditions.
e) Appreciating how other network modifications outwith Dumfries & Galloway may impact their plans for this project as well as the alternatives proposed here.
f) Evaluating SPENs flexibility in applying mitigation allowances and how WTP influences their level of engagement in such activity.
g) Refining cost estimates in this report against figures held by SPEN.