Investing in Sanday’s electricity network

Engineers working on a wooden electricity pole in Sanday, Orkney

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Distribution (SSEN Distribution) has completed an £840,000 investment in Sanday, Orkney as part of a £1.3 million overall investment to upgrade the local electricity network serving the island.

Teams of engineers worked over a three-month period to strengthen the resilience of the network by replacing 110 wooden electricity poles, 12km of overhead line ‘conductors’, 16 transformers and associated electrical equipment. These changes will improve the security of supply serving one of the most remote Orkney Isles, enhancing network resilience for the local community.

SSEN has also installed new automation equipment on the network which allows SSEN’s teams to remotely operate switches, meaning power can be restored much quicker in the event of a power cut by remotely isolating the affected part of the network.

Colin Rendall, SSEN’s Orkney Operations Manager, said:

“The work on Sanday forms part of an ongoing commitment to target our investment towards improving network reliability in the areas with the greatest potential impact and improvement for our customers. We’re delighted to have completed this project on time and on budget, providing a more resilient, stronger electricity network for our customers on Sanday.

“As a responsible network operator, we worked closely with archaeologists and ecologists to ensure all works were completed in a responsible manner, with careful consideration for the local landscape and environment. We’d like to thank the local community for their support and patience during these works.”

This work, delivering on one of SSEN’s business commitments, means the main network line serving 425 properties from Stove to the north end of Sanday has now been upgraded, resulting in a more resilient network for SSEN’s customers living and working on the island.

Mobile generation was deployed throughout the duration of the project to minimise disruption to the island community, ensuring schools, shops, hotels and local businesses stayed on supply whilst SSEN’s engineers undertook this essential work.

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.7 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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