Controversial powerline is switched on

Denny Power line on its way
Denny Power line on its way

The first section of a controversial powerline has gone live.

The Denny-to-Beauly transmission circuit got the go-ahead over two-and-a-half years ago, despite environmentalists claiming it would be a blot on the landscape.

The project will involve building over 600 towering pylons along the 137-mile route.

The line, being constructed by Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Power, is intended to connect electricity generated by wind, wave and tide in the north of Scotland to the national grid.

And, despite protests from campaigners, the Beauly to Fort Augustus section was electrified last week.

Mark Mathieson, managing director of networks at SSE said: “This is a proud moment for SSE. Our progress is testament to the teamwork which identified the need for the line, guided it through planning and has now delivered the first section of the UK’s longest transmission line through some of its most challenging terrain.”

Ramblers Scotland, the John Muir Trust and Stirling before Plyons all raised concerns when the powerline was given approval in 2010, with former Falkirk MSP Dennis Canavan branding it “an act of sheer vandalism”.

The project is expected to be completed in 2014 at an estimated cost of £600 m.