A multi-million pound project by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) to boost the resilience of the area’s power supply and future-proof the network for some 60,000 customers, is under way in Hampshire.
The £5.6 million pound programme of works started earlier this month and is scheduled to complete in July 2023, with the distribution operator upgrading one of its infrastructure’s main substations.
Situated in Aldershot, this key site distributes power to homes and businesses in the Hampshire and Surrey areas, and will be refitted with modern, adaptable switch gear and associated equipment that will serve the network for years to come. The modular design of the new switchgear is expandable to enable additional network connections, should they be required in the future.
This significant investment in the latest technology will also ensure the strength of the power network, linking to existing underground and overhead electricity infrastructure and keeping power flowing to those living and working in the area. To further enhance the resilience and safety of the network, the equipment will be housed in a newly constructed, elevated substation in Aldershot within the footprint of the current substation.
SSEN’s Project Manager for the upgrade works, Paul Goodchild said: “This is an incredibly exciting investment and project to support network resilience for our Hampshire and Surrey customers, providing them with a robust network that suits their needs now and in the future, by enabling new connections and helping local homes and businesses move to their net zero goals.
“We are building safety and flexibility into the infrastructure with this expandable switchgear and by elevating the substation building, which heightens safety and reduces any risk of potential flooding affecting our network. And, while this considerable investment and upgrade to the power supply of over 60,000 local customers will future-proof the network for many years to come, the impact of the construction work itself will be minimal.”
He added: “The bulk of the works will take place on an existing SSEN site, with both construction of the upgraded substation and installation of the new equipment taking place with no disruption to the power supply of our customers. As a considerate constructor, we will be carrying out these works ‘off-line’; maximising the safe working of our colleagues and minimising the impact of our works on nearby homes and businesses.”
SSEN’s project to upgrade the equipment located in Aldershot’s substation complements its previous upgrade in the town of 8.5km of underground cables, completed in 2018 at the cost of £3 million.
The distribution operator’s investment in the Hampshire town will ensure a power supply that suits the needs of residents now and in to the future by upgrading a critical element of the Hampshire and Surrey network to help local communities achieve their decarbonisation ambitions; so as more customers turn to low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles, they have a supply and infrastructure that’s fit for purpose.
SSEN is undertaking these works in adherence with the Government’s coronavirus guidelines. These include strict hygiene measures, enhanced Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), engineers working in small, designated ‘bubbles’ and thorough safety checks in advance of any work to ensure the safety of both colleagues and customers.