195-tonne transformer to be delivered to help power-up new substation project
New transformer will be delivered to Kinardochy substation in early June
(News release SSEN Transmission:) 31 May 2023 - Teams from SSEN Transmission’s Kinardochy Substation project in Perthshire are gearing up for the delivery of a key component which will play a major role in helping to power towards net zero emissions – the arrival of a new 195 tonne transformer.
The Static Compensator Transformer (SCT) is the largest piece of plant in the new substation, and plays an important part in the operation of the site. The new substation, located around three miles from Tummel Bridge, will play a critical role in ensuring voltage limits on the transmission network remain stable and power flows can be efficiently managed, allowing for the connection of new renewable generation to the grid and helping to enable the transition to net zero emissions.
The arrival of the transformer marks a major milestone in the ongoing construction of Kinardochy Substation, and SSEN Transmission and their principal contractors Siemens BAM have been carefully planning its delivery since before construction even began on the project.
Due to its size, the transformer is being maneuvered from its arrival to Dundee Quay along a planned route to the new Kinardochy substation in two phases under the guidance and supervision of Police Scotland.
SSEN Transmission: an aerial view of Kinardochy substation in April 2023.
The first phase will begin from 7pm on Thursday 1 June with specialist haulier Allelys transporting the huge transformer via a 24-axle specialist vehicle from Dundee Quay to Pitnacree, around a mile from Grandtully. The convoy will make its way under Police Scotland escort along the A90, M90 and A9 towards a dedicated waiting area near Pitnacree on the A827/C447.
From there, the transformer will be transferred to a smaller 12-axle trailer, where it will remain until the second phase of the delivery, due to begin from 9am on Sunday 4 June. The transformer will then make its final journey along the C447 through Strathtay, rejoining the B846 and crossing the Camserney Bridge, and continuing its journey up to Kinardochy Substation along the B846.
For safety, while the transformer is being moved in the second phase on the C447 and B846, rolling road closures will be implanted due to the narrow road widths, with diversions in place for road users via Aberfeldy and Kenmore. No road closures are planned on any other routes.
SSEN Transmission Lead Project Manager Gary Milne said: ‘The delivery of the our new 195-tonne SCT transformer is a key milestone in the ongoing construction of Kinardochy Substation, which is continuing to move forwards at pace. We’ve been planning the complex delivery of this vital component since before construction began on the project, making sure we could do whatever we can to ensure disruption is minimised as much as possible. The complex delivery has been carefully coordinated by our project teams, working with our specialist haulier, Allelys, Perth and Kinross Council, Dundee City Council and Police Scotland, to ensure disruption can be kept to a minimum for the local community and road users in the area. We would like to take this opportunity to thank road users and the local community in advance for their patience and understanding while we transport this transformer to its final location at Kinardochy substation and assure them we will do everything we can to limit any disruption caused.’
A photograph of a similar-sized transformer arriving at Alyth Substation earlier this year.
The construction of Kinardochy Substation is continuing to move forwards, with teams recently completing the two main substation buildings which will see the site now focus on the installation and testing of the main electrical equipment for the remainder of this year.
Careful consideration has been made to preserve the scenic area in which the substation is located, with the substation itself being built into the slope of the land so it will be naturally screened by the landscape.
Further screening bunds have been constructed using natural material excavated from the work area to minimise the visual impact of the substation. The site will also be replanted with over 10,000 native trees as well as seeded with local wildflowers which will not only help with visual impact but also encourage greater biodiversity in the area, allowing local flora and fauna to flourish, in line with SSEN Transmission’s commitment to deliver biodiversity net gain on all projects. A section of trees to the north of the work area has also been retained to provide additional screening while the new plantings are given time to mature.
The project is on track to be completed in summer 2024.
For more information about the Kinardochy Substation project visit the SSEN Transmission website on: https://www.ssen-transmission.co.uk/projects/kinardochy-substation/
A similar transformer was successfully delivered to one of SSEN Transmission’s other major projects at Alyth substation site earlier this year with no issues reported, and teams have been working closely together to ensure the arrival of the transformer at Kinardochy will be completed in a similar manner. Watch a video of the Alyth transformer being delivered below: