Scottish Power has submitted proposals to Ofgem outlining £3bn of planned investments in its high-voltage transmission electricity network in Scotland over the next 10 years.
Projects will include the connection of up to 5GW of renewable energy, helping Scotland to achieve its 2020 carbon reduction targets, and extensive upgrades to the electricity grid links between England and Scotland.
The company has also said in a statement that this investment in Scotland will create around 1,500 new jobs, including recruitment of apprentices and retraining of under 25s into skilled jobs over the next decade.
In order to support Scotland’s ambition to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of its own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020, Scottish Power has proposed to invest significantly in the power lines and cables that are needed to support their connection to the grid.
Under the proposals, the company would be able to connect up to 5GW of new renewable energy projects to the grid in the Scottish Power area and around 11GW across the whole of Scotland.
In total across Scotland this will accommodate renewable generation capacity equivalent to four times the size of Longannet power station in Fife, currently the largest electricity generator in Scotland.
Included within the submission are a number of projects that the company plans to deliver in the next decade, including increasing the transmission capacity between Scotland and England to at least 6.6GW.
Frank Mitchell, chief executive officer of Scottish Power Energy Networks, said: ‘It is no secret that our industry has an ageing workforce and we need to encourage new blood into the fold. We envisage bringing on up to 200 new graduate engineers and key apprentices in the next four years, up to 1,000 new highly skilled roles required across Scottish Power by 2020.
‘As well as boosting our own staff intake, we will also be sitting down with contractors and suppliers to outline what we will need over the next decade to deliver this work and to encourage them to invest in a new generation of workers as well.’