Scottish Power Networks has been granted £7.2 million grant from OFGEM towards the cost of constructing the new equipment, which would take about two years to complete if planning permission is granted.
As well as allowing the integration of renewable generation energy, the work will enable the voltage to be increased on the cross-border lines making the electricity supply between Scotland and England more stable. Work will also be done to increase the winter thermal rating of the overhead lines which increases the flow of power along the power lines.
Approving the Low Carbon Network, Accelerating Renewables Connections grant, OFGEM said: “The selected trial area in the eastern Borders has pressing issues to address due to the volume of existing and future generation and represents a number of challenges.”
At the moment, if a generator wants to connect to the national grid, where the network is running at capacity, they have to fund and wait for network reinforcement in that area.
Depending on the connection voltage and the network configuration, this can mean costs in the millions of pounds and several years of delays, which often makes projects uneconomic.
The proposed new plant at Eccles will be constructed adjacent to the existing substation and the overhead line circuits will be altered to link with the new electrical equipment.
The Eccles substation is one of a number of sites identified as being in need of upgrading to allow the intermittent integration of renewable generation.
A planning application is currently with Scottish Borders Council for the work required to upgrade the electricity connections at Eccles.
Scottish Energy Network is hopeful that if planning permission is granted this month then work can begin almost immediately.
It is expected that it will take about two years to complete.