Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission
SSEN Future Networks Team
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Environmental and Modelling
The lack of a clear and consistent commercial approach to quantify and analyse the social and environmental impacts of network developments alongside the economic costs and benefits and illustrate their quantification in a transparent way has let to overreliance on subjective interpretation by TOs and external bodies including planning authorities and potential objectors. This, in turn, has lead to significant delays in projects while these impacts are debated, resulting in an increased cost to deliver infrastructure projects, borne by network customers.
An example of this would be the Beauly Denny line which was delayed for 3 years while a Public Enquiry was held of the the potential impacts of the transmission line on the Scottish Highlands. An estimated cost of £81m was agreed with Ofgem to mitigate the 73 planning consent conditions identified in during the public enquiry; a cost to electricity consumers which could potentially be reduced in future projects from a refined assessment of the social and environmental impacts.
The key objectives of the project are outlined below.
Provide a method and software model for quantifying the contribution of Transmission projects to the wider Scottish and UK economy from direct, indirect and induced expenditure on network projects (demonstrated with a specific case study).
Provide a method and software model for quantifying the social and environmental impact value to stakeholders from the construction of Transmission projects, by providing an effective commercial approach to stakeholder engagements at early stages with transparent case study of examples.
Provide a method and software model for quantifying the incremental social, environmental and economic impacts of optioneering so that more information can be provided to stakeholders to support commercial decisions and their rationale (demonstrated with a specific case study).
The Project is expected to develop the following new learning:
- Advance knowledge to inform commercial arrangements as part of Transmission projects through a detailed and novel illustration of how to incorporate not only economic but also social and environmental impacts into decision making areas of possible concern or risk within a broader and more encompassing impact assessment.
- Identify the key drivers of value creation and impact in the analysis of a current transmission project in order to support the development of future frameworks that facilitate options analysis.
- Advance data collection and benchmarking possibilities to demonstrate in a clear and precise way a league table of incremental project impacts and be able to trade off key impacts with strategic priorities during project optioneering.
- Illustrate how different transmission project options would have rated under this analytical framework
- Contribute to the impact assessment area of research by establishing research techniques for transmission and distribution operators to use in their strategic projects to quantify the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of undertaking infrastructure projects
- Identify key opportunities for network operators where the level and type of stakeholder engagement can be improved to ensure that the stakeholder experience is improved and that future communications are transparent on intent and encapsulate the total impact of an infrastructure project – Gas, Offshore, Distribution or Transmission network.