Starting next month, SSEN Distribution will be carrying out the initial stages of a project which will see a section of its overhead lines in Ballater being replaced with underground cables towards the end of this year.

The project is an essential piece of work designed to protect supplies to approximately 270 nearby properties, as the rising water levels on the River Dee present a real risk of the poles being washed away due to ground erosion.

Starting on 8 July, SSEN teams will be working Monday to Friday for six weeks to remove sections of overhead network equipment - key preparatory works ahead of the wooden poles being dismantled later in the year.

For the safety of staff on site and road-users, and in agreement with Aberdeenshire Council, the B976 South Deeside Road will be closed when teams are working, with a signposted diversion in place.

Ever mindful of the impact a road closure would have on this year’s Ballater Highland Games, the B976 will remain open as usual between 7-9 August to support this major event in calendars far and wide.

Neale Dundas, SSEN Distribution’s Project Manager, said:
“We work all year round to power our communities, and the project we’ll be starting next month is an essential upgrade to the network, helping to protect the electricity supplies to around 270 homes and businesses in Ballater.

“The land on which our wooden poles are currently situated is facing erosion due to the increasingly regular high water levels on the River Dee, and so by putting everything underground in a more secure location, we’re minimising the risk of power cuts.

“For the safety of road-users and our teams on site, we’ve been granted permission by Aberdeenshire Council to close the B976 when we’re working, and we’d like to thank the local community for their patience and understanding in advance of these works starting.

“We appreciate that road closures can have an impact on day-to-day routines, and we’d like to reassure everyone that we’ll do all we can to complete this essential project as safely and as quickly as possible.”

Further details on the next stage of the project will be issued once dates are confirmed.