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Southern UK Receives Upgrade to Power Lines

image credit: Pylon after upgrading; image: SSEN
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SSEN has improved the overhead network ahead of winter demand

A project by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) to refurbish the overhead network supplying consumers in Southern England has been finished on time and on budget. This improvement will boost area power capacity ahead of the increased loads of the winter months.

The $805,000 program of works started in Fall 2020, with the extensive replacement of the area’s overhead electricity infrastructure. As well as existing overhead cable components being upgraded with modern, efficient equipment, thirty-five of the towers supporting the overhead wires were refurbished, providing stability and security to the local network for the changing needs of over 3,650 homes and businesses in the area.

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The project took sixteen months to complete, with improvements to two substations in the location as well as the overhead works. This increase in capacity will benefit users during the winter and also assist in transitioning to net zero with additional low carbon technologies, such as EVs, solar panels and heat pumps.

SSEN’s Project Manager, Martin Bailey says, “My team and I would like to thank our customers for their patience while we carried out these substantial works on the overhead network powering their homes and businesses.

The pylon before upgrading; image: SSEN

“We are delighted to have completed this project ahead of the winter months. By upgrading both the overhead cables and the supporting towers, SSEN has boosted the resilience of the infrastructure for thousands of local residents and business owners, and significantly reduced the risk of power cuts in the face of adverse weather.”

Demand and network loads are expected to grow with the increased need for electricity. With a population of over a quarter of a million across the wider district of West Sussex, the region is forecast to have as many as 2,564 electric vehicle (EV) charge points by the end of 2021, with that figure rising to 42,993 in 2030 and reaching 77,5373 by 2050. Additionally, heat pumps installed across the area are forecast to rise from 3,355 in 2021 to 93,297 by 2050.

SSEN’s capacity upgrade ensures a power supply to suit the needs of residents now and in to the future. By upgrading this critical section of the West Sussex electricity network, local communities and businesses can achieve their decarbonization goals, so as more customers turn to low carbon technologies such as EVs and heat pumps, they have a supply and infrastructure that’s fit for purpose.

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