Julian Lewis MP welcomes £32 million boost to local electricity network

Man and woman standing beside model village

Dr Julian Lewis MP with Wessex Head of Region, Jo Niven at SSEN's New Forest depot

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has welcomed the New Forest East MP to its depot in his constituency to discuss the completion of a £32 million programme of works to boost the resilience of the electricity infrastructure across southern England.

The substantial improvement programme reaching across parts of Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset has included the replacement of poles, conductors and plant such as substations and underground link boxes. Innovative automation systems have been placed on the network and some sections of overhead line have been undergrounded; all measures that will improve the resilience of the power supply to homes and businesses across the region and enable businesses and residential areas to grow and expand to meet the community’s needs.

Network reliability is a key priority for SSEN and the customers it serves. Following a series of engagements with its customers SSEN took the decision to make the multimillion-pound investment to further improve network resilience, and future-proof its infrastructure for customers' changing demands. This is part of SSEN’s commitment to taking a "you said, we did" approach to investing in its vital infrastructure.

Head of Region for Wessex, Jo Niven, met with New Forest East MP, Dr Julian Lewis to discuss the importance of the projects that will also support a reduction in power cuts to his constituents.

Jo said: "As a responsible network operator, SSEN makes a commitment to our customers to do all we can to keep the lights on 24/7; by completing over £32 million pounds of works across Wessex in the last three years, we are reinforcing that commitment to the residents and businesses across the region who rely on us to power their day.

"This three year programme marks a significant investment to an area which has differing needs across its rural and urban environments, and SSEN embarked on these works to strengthen the power supplies to homes, businesses and communities in Wessex, while reinforcing an infrastructure that it is robust enough to meet future needs."

Dr Julian Lewis MP added: "I’m greatly encouraged to see the level of investment being made in the electricity infrastructure that powers the homes and businesses of my constituents.

"With three years of works completed, SSEN is providing Wessex with a power supply fit for the future and whatever changes may come to the region as it grows and develops in the years ahead."

While a total of seventeen large-scale projects have been completed in the last three years, five of the key projects benefitting from the £32 million investment are: 

  • £7.5 million in refurbishing the 132kV overhead lines between Axminster and Yeovil 
  • £5 million in reinforcing the 33kV infrastructure across Velmore, Bishopstoke and Netley Common 
  • £4.3 million in refurbishing the 132 kV overhead lines between Poole and Winfrith Heath 
  • £3.8 million in rebuilding the 33kV overhead line towers between Chickerell and Winterbourne Abbass 
  • £2.8 million in reinforcing the 33kV network between Redhill and Victoria Park though cable overlay. 

All of the above projects carried out as part of this programme were completed on time and on budget.