SSEN Transmission is investing over $12.24 billion to upgrade its network infrastructure across the north of Scotland between 2023 and 2030, considering the region’s role in delivering energy security.
To make space for cables, steel towers and substations and as part of SSEN Transmission’s replanting program, the company aims to replant native broadleaves to deliver a higher level of biodiversity as compared to the pre-existing conifer forests.
“Not only do we replace trees that are felled, but we also work to develop new woodland that provides specifically for biodiversity gain,” said Calum Murray, SSEN Transmission’s Forester leading on woodland creation. “At SSEN Transmission we are committed to ensuring that we deliver at least 10% more biodiversity on our projects, whether they cross woodland, peatland, farmland or any other natural habitat.”
The company is also seeking a broader landownership base for new woodland development areas as part of its Pathway to 2030 program. It is looking to engage with businesses which will help deliver the project collaboratively, through a framework tender opportunity.
The project will support SSEN Transmission’s commitment to woodland conservation by partnering with Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust. Argyll and Bute Council will support and enhance Scotland’s rainforest in Argyll.
For new woodland projects, SSEN Transmission will look for different benefits and requirements like replacing lost woodland as close as possible to the area impacted; projects offering community benefit - including developing woodland close to towns or helping to enhance a designated landscape and expanding on ancient woodland sites.