An investment of nearly £10 million by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) to boost the resilience of power supplies to tens of thousands of homes and businesses across Wiltshire and Hampshire has been completed ahead of the winter months.
This multi-million programme of works has been finished ahead of schedule and to budget, enabling SSEN to provide a stronger, more reliable electricity network for customers in areas including Andover, Bath, Chippenham, Devizes and Melksham; helping to future-proof its infrastructure for the changing demands of tens of thousands of local residents and businesses, and ultimately assisting Wiltshire and Hampshire to achieve their net-zero ambitions in line with Government targets.
Starting in 2017, the £9.8 million investment has seen the refurbishment of 232 towers and associated equipment stretching over 58 kilometres of the area’s overhead network, from SSEN’s primary substation in the Wiltshire town of Melksham across to its Andover primary substation situated in Hampshire.
In addition to the repair and renewal of structural network, the entire span of overhead line has been replaced with a modern, higher current carrying, capacity system; strengthening the infrastructure supplying homes and business across Wiltshire and Hampshire, securing the electricity infrastructure for many years and ultimately supporting the areas’ decarbonisation ambitions.
SSEN’s Project Manager, Daniel Rees said: “We’re delighted to have been able to complete this considerable project ahead of winter, to boost the power supplies to many thousands of homes and businesses across this area.
“While the works themselves were extensive and ran over nearly three years, SSEN was able to carry out the entire upgrade with very minor interruption to customers’ power supplies.”
Daniel continued: “As a considerate constructor, SSEN carefully designed the works to minimise any intrusion and disturbance to its nearby customers, to the point where the vast majority of those living and working in the area were unaware of the ongoing works to build them a stronger, more resilient power supply for years to come.”
SSEN’s investment in this sizeable section of network – spanning several rural and urban areas – will ensure a power supply that suits the needs of tens of thousands of residents and business owners now and in to the future, helping local communities achieve their net-zero ambitions; so as more customers turn to using electric vehicles, they have a supply and infrastructure that’s fit for purpose.
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) indicated in their recently published Sixth Carbon Budget, that as the UK transitions to net zero, electricity demand could treble by 2050. SSEN is working to understand the ambitions of the communities it serves, and to enable this transition.