A Perthshire community expects to benefit from an £86 million substation, despite lingering concerns over parking and traffic.
People in Alyth say they are in favour of the move but are concerned it could cause increased traffic and possible parking issues in the long-term.
The substation will take 28 months to construct and aims to support the connection of new renewable generation in the north of Scotland to the grid.
The Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) – the company behind the plan – says it will enable clean energy to be taken from where it is generated to where it is needed.
Darren Gracey of the Alyth Community Support Group says locals are “positive” about the move.
He told The Courier: “After speaking to a number of people about the effects on Alyth with regards to the substation the people of Alyth seem very positive about it.
“They feel that this will have a minimal effect on Alyth with possible increase for some shops and possibly accommodation.
“There are a few concerns that there may be an increase in traffic within the town and increase problems with parking but overall people seem very positive about it.
“Mainly because of where it is situated, a lot of people don’t expect that it will be that visible to the majority of Alyth.”
He added: “Several community groups in the wider area have already benefited from funding support from SSEN Networks as part of the initiative.
“Local businesses have also been invited to meetings in order to bid for work associated with this project as well as local recruitment to work at the site itself.”
The substation will have an operational capacity of 275kV, with later upgrades bringing it up to 400kV operation for 2026.
SSEN says the increase will deliver the full capacity increase needed for major new renewable generation connections in the future.
The company has carried out pre-construction improvement works over the last six months by widening around 2km of Balendoch Road, which connects with the B954 from Meigle, and the demolishing and reinstatement of the disused railway bridge.
Net zero emissions
Lead Project Manager Archie Munro said: “It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this stage, myself and the team are excited to get started, so I am really pleased that we will soon be breaking the first ground on site.
“Substations like Alyth play an important role in the race to net zero emissions, without which we wouldn’t be able to connect much needed new renewable generation to the grid.
“As a team we are proud to be playing our part in delivering a network for net zero.”