The ‘A Network for Net Zero’ plan covers the period from April 2021 to March 2026 and follows consultation with national and local stakeholders as well as SSEN Transmission's independent expert RIIO-T2 User Group.
It aims to support both the UK and Scottish Governments' net zero emissions targets and meet the needs and expectations expressed by stakeholders through five goals.
They are to transport renewable electricity that powers 10 million homes, have 100% transmission reliability for homes and businesses, ensure every connection is delivered on time, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one-third and have £100m in efficiency savings from innovation.
The business plan sets out a sol-called 'certain view' of the next price control period, which makes an investment case for a minimum total expenditure of £2.4bn over the RIIO-T2 period, up from £2.2bn in a draft plan.
“This investment is essential to maintain and grow the north of Scotland transmission network to meet the certain needs of current and future electricity generators and customers, delivering a clear pathway to net zero,” the company said.
SSEN said the additional investment will be required to “deliver the transition to net zero, but this investment will only be released once there is certainty it is needed – protecting bill payers”.
Throughout the RIIO-T2 period, SSEN intends to increase the number of its direct employees to over 700 from around 500 today, with more jobs expected through its supply chain.
SSEN Transmission estimates the average cost to the consumer over the RIIO-T2 period to deliver the plans will be about £7 a year.
SSEN Transmission managing director Rob McDonald said: “With our network region home to some of the UK’s greatest resources of renewable energy we have a critical role to play in the fight to prevent the worst effects of climate change, connecting up more renewable energy and transporting it across the country.
“We believe our business plan represents a balanced package that makes a powerful case for the vital investment needed to deliver a pathway net zero.
“It will also lead to improved network reliability, at an affordable cost to consumers, whilst also providing a fair return to investors.
“We would like to thank all our stakeholders who helped shape our plan and we now look forward to Ofgem’s consultation on our final business plan and the subsequent open hearings, which are expected to take place in the first half of 2020.”
As part of Ofgem's consideration of the final plan, the regulator will consult with stakeholders during 2020 before determining what level of investment should be taken forward from 2021 through to 2026, SSEN said.