A routing via the southern corridor will be much longer (and therefore more expensive to the UK consumer) than a routing in the northern corridor.
Alternative routings for this line would create less visual, health, tourism, economic and environmental impact and should also be put through proper comparative cost analysis:
Marine Moray Firth – Peterhead – Firth of Forth. New power for the proposed line through Aberdeenshire is to come from offshore Moray Firth. This power should not come onshore but instead be fed into a high voltage DC line. Peterhead power station can also feed this line. With feed from either Blackhillock or directly from Beauly, this would also back up Beauly-Denny and provide security of supply.
Power transmission capacity of a 400 Kv line can be configured to “… facilitate higher power transfers and lower transmission losses.” [from National Grid NW Coast Connectors Appendix 4 Aug 2014]. Two 275Kv overhead powerlines already run from Blackhillock to Kintore. One or both of these lines could be replaced along the same routing where locals have already established their properties knowing that they were on the route of a large powerline. This would avoid building an entirely new 400Kv line together with its access roads through an environmentally sensitive entirely new corridor. SSE considered this routing earlier but quietly dropped by SSE in 2014. This should be revisited.
Should this new extension to the “preferred southern corridor” remain essential, consideration should be given to undergrounding large sections especially through the flat-lying terrain where the pylons would be seen for mile after mile and which also have a high degree of visual impact in sight of Bennachie.
SSE’s proposal for a long-distance overhead 400 Kv AC powerline is 50-year old technology. No fully costed operational alternatives have been given for, say, a high voltage DC (direct current) power line from the Moray Firth via Peterhead to the Firth of Forth or other alternatives above.