Yesterday the Scottish government gave the go-ahead for the upgrade of the 137 power line between Beauly, near Inverness and Denny in Stirlingshire.
It is said the upgrade is vital for the future of renewables in Scotland, as it will take power from green energy developments in the Highlands and Islands to markets in the south.
Enterprise Minister, Jim Mather immediately came under fire for his 'vagueness' from political opponents who raised concerns that the conditions of 'visual impact mitigation' measures he had included in his decision would further delay the project, which has already taken eight years to process. It has been the longest planning enquiry in Scottish history.
The power line passes through some of Scotland's most scenic areas and, during the consultation period, the plan received 18,000 objections.
Some of the objections I found rather nonsensical as pylons already run through scenic parts of Scotland. Indeed the replacement pylons, some up to 217 feet high, will be far larger than those which presently cross the landscape but, after listening to Jim Mather on Newnicht tonight, I understand there will be fewer of them.
It's not going to be plain sailing for the power companies, (Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Power), even though permission has been granted. They still have to produce plans which will comply with the set conditions and the John Muir Trust, a prominent conservation charity, has said it would go to court to stop the development.
Dare I voice my opinion? If this new power line secures a steadfast provision of electricity for all of Scotland for the foreseeable future I'm all for it. The objection that it will affect tourism is ridiculous unless people are suggesting tourists don't understand the necessity for countries to have energy supplies. Yes, it may have been possible to place the cables underground but, from reading both sides of the dispute, underground cabling also has its problems.
What does trouble me is the closeness of any pylon to communities. I'm not convinced there is no relation between the high level of electromagnetic radiation from pylons and certain cancers.
Finally, is this upgraded power line going to reduce the cost of my electricity? I don't think I need three guesses for the answer to that. The south of England will possibly continue to pay less for electricity created in Scotland. They do at present.