An energy company has unlocked £33.9 million of funding to invest in 18 green energy projects in Central and Southern Scotland.
The projects will provide additional electrical capacity in areas where SP Energy Networks, the distribution network owner for the area, is expecting electricity demand to grow.
This work will see the installation of four brand new main substations in Central and Southern Scotland, including the construction of a new £6m substation near the COP26 venue in Glasgow.
The city is hosting the most important climate summit since 2016 in November this year and the substation will create a lasting COP26 legacy by enabling future green developments and the connection of low carbon technologies into the grid and help Glasgow with its own Net Zero ambitions.
This project, and the 17 other network infrastructure projects, will be delivered over the next eighteen months and will provide the capacity for the connection of a host of LCTs such as electric vehicles and heat pumps.
These technologies will help households transform their energy use as they switch to electric options from a current reliance on gas and fossil fuels to power transport and heat.
Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said: “Scotland is wholly committed to becoming a net-zero economy by 2045, and doing so in a way that is just and fair for all.
“I strongly welcome this investment in Scotland’s energy networks, which will help our progress towards decarbonisation while ensuring that the economic and social benefits of the energy transition are realised across the country.
“We have worked closely with our stakeholders to support the strong and successful bids from Scotland’s network companies for this substantial funding.
“These projects and investments will support further innovation in green energy, unlocking capacity in our networks to support electrification of transport as well as other technologies like battery storage, renewables and heat pumps.
“Today’s announcement by Ofgem is the product of an agile approach to investment and we must now build on this to ensure that our networks remain capable of supporting Scotland’s net-zero transition.”
Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks, said: “These projects were selected because they are shovel-ready, can be delivered at speed and will help communities in Central and Southern Scotland to take important steps forward on their journey to Net Zero.
“To tackle climate change we’re electrifying transport, decarbonising heating and buildings and connecting more wind and solar energy generation than ever before.
“Our network must be ready to support these changes and set the foundations for a Net Zero future.
“In six months, Glasgow will host the most important climate summit in years, COP26.
“At the forefront of discussions will be how everyone can accelerate climate action and this funding will help to speed up our own work to deliver a network that can unlock Net Zero for Scotland and the communities we serve.”
The investment announced will create 154MW of new network capacity to power more than 200 rapid or ultra-rapid EV chargers and 1,500 domestic heat pumps in the region as well as numerous other significant connections.