MSP facilitates “very constructive meeting” with Ofgem

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Joan McAlpine MSP has described as “very constructive” an important meeting she organised on behalf of campaigners concerned by Scottish Power’s pylons plans.

Ms McAlpine persuaded the UK energy regulator Ofgem to host the delegation from Dumfriesshire at their Scottish headquarters in Glasgow on Friday.

Commenting, the MSP said:

“I was pleased that Ofgem responded positively to my request to meet with a delegation of local campaigners.

“It was a very constructive meeting which allowed my constituents to convey their concerns and also gain more insight about the regulator’s role in the process.

Ofgem were represented by their Scottish head Kersti Berge, Senior Manager Mike Leonard, and by video link Geoffrey Randall, Head of Electricity Transmission, and Ofgem’s Senior Regulatory Economist Anna Kulhavy.

In attendance from the community were Gordon Donald from Glencairn Community Council, Alice Howdle from Kirkmahoe Against Pylons, Dr Ramesh Adhikari representing the Racks community and Alan Jones from Dumgal Against Pylons.  Alan Jones outlined his alternative to the proposals.

Ofgem made it clear that community consultation is very important and they are keen that operators do not make the same mistakes of Beauly-Denny.

Ofgem’s representatives explained that SPEN had to prove a “needs case” and revealed that they had got National Grid involved to review the process.  This has resulted in a potential rethink of the proposals.

Ms McAlpine said:

“There have been considerable concerns around Scottish Power Energy Network’s reinforcement project so I have been working hard to ensure the views of my constituents are listened to.

“I consider these types of meetings a step in the right direction.”

Picture attached L-R shows Alice Howdle, Alan Jones, Joan McAlpine MSP, Dr Ramesh Adhikari and Gordon Donald outside Ofgem’s Scottish headquarters