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Blackhillock Substation Project


Keith, Scotland




Substation / Electricity station


Blackhillock Substation is located in the northeast of Scotland, near the historical town of Keith in Moray.


Operated by Scottish Southern Electricity Network (SSEN), it covers an area the size of 24 football pitches. This makes Blackhillock the UK's largest substation, and Europe's second biggest.

In 2015, SSNE began construction to upgrade Blackhillock to include a new Caithness-Moray Link. The station was involved in this project to bring renewable energy from the far north of Scotland to the national grid. Costing £1bn, this project comprised of a 275kV air-insulated substation, 400kV and 132kV gas-insulated substations, a High Voltage Direct Current (HDVC) underground cable from the station to Portgordon and a HDVC converter for the 113km Caithness-Moray subsea link.


Commissioning and construction were completed in 2019, making it the UK’s largest operating substation. It is integral to the UK electricity grid as a key link from northern Scottish renewable energy. The 84-turbine offshore Beatrice Windfarm, which provides enough electricity to power 450,000 homes, was a key component of this.

Transmission reinforcement establishment is carrying up to 1200MW of electricity between Caithness and Moray. It is made up of eight bays of 132kV Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS), thirteen bays of 275kV Air Insulated Switchgear (AIS), ten bays of 400kV Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) and two 360 MVA Power Transformers. Two 530 MVA cables are being installed between Blackhillock and Keith substations to reinforce the network.


Blackhillock’s nearest settlement, Keith, is a small town that dates back to 1180. This town is the start of the famous Malt Whisky Trail and is home to the Strathisla Distillery, the oldest continuously operating distillery in the Highlands.


Kite was proud to be part of Blackhillock’s success by supplying the site with GRP Grating Panels to secure safe access for landline cables and pipes. These GRP gratings formed protective shield panels with a clear view to observe access points for inspection, maintenance, and daily checks.


The GRP Solid Tops also provided an extra enforcement to offer weight resistance and protection for specific areas of the project. As it is a non-conductive substance, our GRP Products are especially safe for use in workplaces where proximity to electricity is a potential hazard.


Call Kite's team on 0131 333 4413 to discover how we can help with your next project. Alternatively, submit your email address and we will get in touch shortly.

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