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MSP welcomes pylon rethink

Thousands of pylons would have run from Auchencrosh to Harker. Credit: ITV Border

South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine (SNP) has welcomed the announcement that Scottish Power Energy Networks is rethinking its plan to install a new network of electricity pylons in Dumfries and Galloway.

The proposals had been met with fierce protests.

Now, the company says the results of its public consultation, and changes in the energy industry, mean they may scale back the plans.

This is welcome news and testament to the efforts of constituents who picked apart the justification for an overhead line of this size routed through virgin countryside. In my consultation submission on behalf of constituents I asked this question - I am pleased that SPEN and National Grid are taking it on board.

I will continue to act on behalf of my constituents and have secured a meeting between campaigners and the UK energy regulator which will take place very soon.”

– Joan McAlpine, SNP MSP

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Langholm cable works as part of £750,000 electricity network upgrade

Underground cables Credit: Press Association

Motorists are likely to face disruption when new high voltage underground power cables are installed in Langholm as part of a £750,000 local electricity network investment project.

The new cabling will run from Meikleholm to the electricity substation on Caroline Street. SP Energy Networks has been working with land owners and residents to keep them informed of the project. Temporary four-way traffic lights will be in place on Caroline Street and Eskdale Street to allow for the underground cables to be installed until 31 July.

Due to the works there will also be restricted vehicle access to Meikleholm on weekdays between the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm, with the potential for some weekend work as well. Residents will be kept updated by the local project team.

“This work forms part of an important investment project for Langholm, modernising the electricity network and reinforcing supplies for homes and businesses in the local area.

"We have planned the temporary traffic management measures as carefully as possible to keep any disruption to a minimum, and landowners and residents have been kept informed of our plans. This project is designed to bring long-term benefits to the area, and we apologise for any inconvenience this work may cause in the short term.”

– Donald Kennedy, Project Manager for SP Energy Networks

Full Report: Hydro power on the River Tweed

The River Tweed is being used to harness electricity for the first time.

A new hydro-electric power station near Selkirk will produce enough energy to power more than 200 homes.

The 1.3 million pound project consists of two giant turbines installed in the Ettrick Water.

However, as Jenny Longden reports, wildlife is being given top priority.

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Wildlife protected at Hydro Electric site

The estate behind the first Hydro Electric Power Station in the Scottish Borders say that protecting wildlife is their number one priority.

Electricity is now being produced at Murray's Cauld near Selkirk.

Two giant turbines have been installed at the popular salmon-viewing spot on the River Tweed.

A spokesperson for Philiphaugh Estate said:

"To ensure the free passage of wildlife, we have worked closely with Scottish Natural Heritage and SEPA throughout the project.

"A new Larinier state of the art Salmon pass and a combined Eel, Lamprey and Smolt chute have been installed beside the turbines so that fish, eels, lampreys and smoults can ascend and descend the cauld. Screens prevent otters and larger fish from entering the turbines.

"In addition, we closely monitor the river level to ensure that the salmon pass and mill lade get a constant flow of water.

"Two electronic sensors have been placed in the river above and below the Cauld to measure water flow and height.

"These sensors can close off the turbines when water is low or if an obstruction to the flow occurs.

"Our first priority is to ensure that water can run down the fish passes, the second is to ensure that water descends the mill lade to protect this sensitive environment."

Full Report: Galloway gets a £10 million electricity boost

£10 million will be spent to improve the electricity network in Mid Galloway.

The region was hard hit by the winter weather in 2012 and in March this year.

Scottish Power are now making the network more resistant to storms - and some are saying it's about time.

It comes on the same day the firm announces 8.6% prices rises for their dual fuel customers.

Fiona McIlwraith has more.

Russell Brown MP: Consumers have "had every right to complain"

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has welcomed the news that Scottish Power will be investing £10 million into improving the area's electricity network.

"It's going to keep the linesman busy and at the end of the day what is required here is for the customers the power consumers to be happy with the service they've got, up until now, that hasn't been the case and they've had every right to complain, but hopefully we'll get there."

– Russell Brown MP
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