Onshore description

The wind farm’s two 85 kilometres export cables will reach the Firth of Forth coastline in East Lothian. They will join a short section of onshore export cable which will connect into the new 220/275kV onshore substation being constructed on the site of the former Cockenzie Power Station. The coal-fired power station was demolished in 2014 leaving a brownfield site ripe for redevelopment. Once built, the substation will comprise two large transformers, shunt reactors, harmonic filters, static var compensators and additional electrical equipment. 

From the substation, the power will be transported around 300 metres underground to the existing Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) 275/400kV substation in Cockenzie. From here it will enter the national transmission system on its way to providing green electricity to UK homes, businesses and industry.

The substation is in an ideal location, right on the coast and adjacent to the existing grid connection and transmission infrastructure. Its location means that construction works will be noticed by few communities and there will be no impacts on the wider Scottish countryside. 

Computer-generated visualisation of Inch Cape's onshore substation

Construction progress

Inch Cape secured Planning Permission in Principle (PPP) for the proposed onshore transmission works in February 2019 and signed a land agreement with East Lothian Council.  

Work started on the 2.6 hectare site earlier in 2023 with principal contractor Siemens Energy leading the activity.  RJ McLeod, a leading Scottish civil engineering company, completed the enabling works in October 2023 which included demolition and backfilling, minor drainage activity, plus the erection of site accommodation and a five-metre-high retaining wall. 

The main civil works are now underway on the site. They are being undertaken by civil engineering contractor Careys and will comprise: further drainage, creation of concrete bases, internal roads and bunds, landscaping, and the erection of steel-framed buildings. The Inch Cape team will continue to liaise with the local community on the programme, particularly in relation to the arrival of any heavy loads.