SCOTTISH Hydro-Electric owner SSE has said it will need to invest more than £2bn in the power transmission network in northern Scotland in coming years to support the drive to tackle climate change.

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The Perth-based energy giant said continued investment in the transmission system would be key to unlocking the further potential the North of Scotland could play in meeting Governments’ targets for net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

It noted the need to update networks to handle expected increases in the amount of energy generated by wind farms, which varies according to weather conditions.

SSE said its proposals would help deliver the clean energy transition at an affordable cost to consumers, whilst providing a fair return to investors.

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The group must get regulatory approval for its plans under the price control setting process for the 2021 to 2026 period

It said a minimum investment of £2.2bn would be needed in that period in the North of Scotland network. A significant proportion of this investment will be in the North East, with a particular focus on accommodating the growth in offshore wind, said SSE.

The company estimated the cost of delivering its plans would average around £7 per year for each consumer in Britain.

SSE said its plan would support the targets set by the Scottish and UK Governments for reaching net zero emissions in 2045 and 2050 respectively by ensuring its networks could transport the renewable electricity needed to power 10 million homes.

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SSE hopes to achieve 100 per cent network reliability for homes and firms, to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its networks by a third and to generate £100m efficiency savings.