Energy regulator Ofgem has launched a consultation on plans to allow upgrades of the Scottish transmission network, needed to connect thousands of megawatts of new renewables developments north of the border. The proposals will allow network companies to invest in their wires on a case by case basis before their next price review -- not due until 2007 -- to prevent delaying the exploitation of Scotland's renewables potential, particularly wind. Ofgem's chief executive, Alistair Buchanan, says the plans do not rule out any of the proposed investment projects put forward by the two Scottish wires companies. "Indeed, up to £360 million of investment has been authorised in the Scottish transmission system." This is to fund Scottish and Southern's new 400 kV upgrade of its line from Beauly near Inverness to Denny near Stirling plus reinforcements in the Sloy area. "Further funding can be made available for other projects when the case for each investment has been demonstrated and the projects are ready to proceed," says Buchanan.
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