A MULTI-MILLION-POUND project to improve the resilience of the electricity supply in East Lothian and the Scottish Borders has now finished.

SP Energy Networks announced the completion of the project, which stretches from Cockenzie to the Borders village of Eccles, near Coldstream, last Thursday morning.

The £45 million scheme covers 40 miles and forms part of a wider £2 billion investment plan to futureproof the transmission network across central and southern Scotland over a five-year period.

Work started in November 2020 and involved the inspection and refurbishment of about 190 towers, with more than 788km of conductors and insulators replaced.

The project team worked closely with local landowners and authorities to ensure disruption to the surrounding environment and community was kept to a minimum throughout the duration of the project.

Pearse Murray, SP transmission director at SP Energy Networks, thanked landowners for their co-operation during the lengthy project.

He said: “This project forms part of our extensive investment programme and highlights the unique role we play in connecting renewable generation.

“Our transmission system is a key enabler for ensuring security of supplies throughout the energy transition, so maintaining resilience of that is critical.

“This refurbishment is a significant milestone which will help increase network capacity for many homes and businesses across the county and it further underlines our commitment to investing in and enhancing our infrastructure to help meet net-zero emissions targets.

“I’d like to thank the local landowners and communities for their continued cooperation throughout the project to ensure it could progress with minimal impact on the surrounding areas.”

The 400kV route, known as the ‘ZA overhead line’, was first erected in the mid-1960s and plays a substantial role in supplying renewable energy to 150,000 customers across the area.

Investment in the line helps to further increase network resilience and ensures that it continues to play an important role in years to come to support the uptake of green technologies, like electric vehicles and heat pumps.