South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed the official launch of the Overhead Lines Technician Training Course at Dumfries and Galloway College, taking place on Friday 19th April.

The course – the first of its kind in Scotland – has been developed to meet the anticipated demand for local technicians as a result of the upcoming £2.6 billion upgrade of the National Grid.  The upgrade is being made possible by the growth of renewable energy in the region which means the grid must be upgraded to carry the extra green energy. 

As well as creating dozens of new jobs, the upgrade will put an end to most of the power outages caused by bad weather that have plagued Dumfries and Galloway in recent years.

Commenting, the SNP MSP said:

“I was delighted to be asked to attend the launch of the Overhead Lines Technician Course. 

“The course will play a vital role in making sure local people are the ones to benefit from the opportunities offered through the upgrade of the grid.  It is important that we train up local people who understand the communities they are serving.”

She added:

“The upgrade will be a massive boost for our local economy.  Not only that, it will tackle the raft of power outages that have been plaguing Dumfries and Galloway as a result of the recent spate of bad weather. 

“It’s great that the region is seeing such substantial benefits as a direct result of the Scottish Government’s ambitious renewables policy.”

The Scottish Government is on track to reach its target of 50 per cent of Scotland’s electricity demand met from green power by 2015.