Press Release

Balfour Beatty awarded first phase of SSEN Transmission’s Skye Reinforcement Project

12 June 2024


Balfour Beatty has today been awarded the first phase of the c. £690 million Skye 132kV reinforcement project for Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN) Transmission. On completion the project will ensure the supply of secure, clean electricity to thousands of homes and businesses across the Hebrides and West Highlands.

The detailed design and development phase, valued at £32 million, will see Balfour Beatty provide technical solutions for a new 137km, 132kV double circuit overhead line between the existing Fort Augustus and Edinbane substations, as well as new sealing end compounds to link the overhead line to the underground electricity network, ultimately joining the Isle of Skye and Western Isles to mainland Scotland.

Subject to planning approval, the full construction contract award is expected later in 2024.

Due to the expansive and unique terrain, Balfour Beatty will engage its in-house environmental and sustainability team to consider ecological and environmental requirements, from peat management to wildlife translocation, contributing to SSEN Transmission’s biodiversity net gain targets.

In addition, the Company will work closely and collaboratively with local communities to minimise disruption wherever possible, including introducing a ‘Skye workers village’ to provide the construction workforce with dedicated site accommodation.

Tony Wilson, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Power Transmission and Distribution business said: “We have a long and proud history of working with SSEN Transmission. This most recent award is testament to our expertise and capability in delivering overhead lines and underground cabling works in complex and challenging environments.”

Paul Higginbotham, SSEN Transmission’s Deputy Project Director for the Skye 132kV Reinforcement Project, said: “We’re pleased to strengthen our relationship with Balfour Beatty as a supply chain partner for the Skye 132kV Reinforcement Project, helping us deliver security of supply to homes and businesses along its route from Skye to Fort Augustus, as well as to the Western Isles.” 

This latest award follows the Company’s appointment to SSEN Transmission’s Accelerated Strategic Transmission Investment (ASTI) framework in August 2023 for which it commenced detailed development and design in early 2024. 

Main construction work for the Isle of Skye Reinforcement Project is expected to begin in early 2025. At project peak, Balfour Beatty will employ 650 people including 32 apprenticeship and graduate positions as part of the Company’s commitment to The 5% Club.

Balfour Beatty has unrivalled end-to-end capability in the UK energy market. Find out more here.


Media enquiries to:

Tom Boorman
 Balfour Beatty
 +44 (0)203 810 2345 | follow us @balfourbeatty

All non-media related enquiries should be directed to +44 (0)20 7216 6800 or

Notes to editors:

  • Balfour Beatty is a leading international infrastructure group with 26,000 employees driving the delivery of powerful new solutions, shaping thinking, creating skylines and inspiring a new generation of talent to be the change-makers of tomorrow. We finance, develop, build, maintain and operate the increasingly complex and critical infrastructure that supports national economies and deliver projects at the heart of local communities.
  • Over the last 114 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world. Currently, we are working to deliver Hinkley Point C, the first UK nuclear power station in a generation; constructing the world-class arts and cultural facility, the Lyric Theatre, in Hong Kong; and designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the Automated People Mover superstructure at the fifth busiest airport in the world, Los Angeles International Airport.
  • Balfour Beatty’s Power Transmission & Distribution teams work with regional, national and international electricity network owners and operators to provide technical engineering solutions across the full spectrum of the electricity grid, including overhead lines, cabling, substations and distribution networks. From scoping and feasibility, to design, construction and on-going maintenance, our in-house experts, flexible resources and industry-leading innovations support clients in the development of some of the UK’s most ambitious power transmission and distribution projects.

Image: Trident Wooden Pole OHL, image courtesy of SSEN

Thomas Boorman

Media & PR Manager