Andrew Bowie, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP, said that the decision demonstrates that local voices are having an impact.
SSEN Transmission is now actively exploring alternative potential sites for its proposed new substation around the Fiddes area. The Fiddes substation is a key component of the Kintore-Fiddes-Tealing 400kV project, which will see a new overhead line installed between these locations, the route of which will also go through Angus, alongside new substations at Fiddes and Tealing.
The company has said the project is part of a major upgrade of the electricity transmission network across Great Britain to connect and transport the renewable electricity that is needed to help deliver UK and Scottish Government net zero and renewable targets.
The need for the project has also been independently assessed and approved by the GB energy regulator, Ofgem, and it will help to secure the country’s future energy independence. SSEN Transmission said that the move had been made in recognition of the strength of feeling among local communities and landowners.
If an alternative potential site is found, further work will be required to identify alternative potential overhead line routes, with further public consultation. The company expects to have an update on its expanded site selection process by October.
Russell Stewart, Regional Development Project Manager, said: “We hope that this demonstrates that we are listening and actively considering local feedback where possible.”
Mr Bowie, said: "It shows the value of local communities engaging with the company to demonstrate their feelings and shows that there will be room for manoeuvre along the transmission route. I am sure that constructive dialogue will continue and I hope that moves such as this will give communities some assurance that their voices can, and will, be heard."
The consultation will run until July 28.
Mr Stewart added: “To help inform the identification of a potential alternative site, our teams will continue to balance key environmental and technical constraints, alongside seeking to minimise community and landscape impacts. This process will take several months to complete and we expect to have an outcome in the autumn.
“We would once again like to thank all stakeholders who have kindly taken the time to provide their feedback and encourage anyone with an interest in the project who has not yet shared their views to do so in advance of our extended consultation deadline.”