SSEN invests £4.5m to protect Osney Island power supply from flood damage

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is investing £4.5 million to protect an Oxfordshire village’s power supply from the risk of flood damage.

The riverside community of Osney Island will benefit from the multi-million pound project to elevate the nearby substation above the flood risk level. The existing substation currently supplies power to over 10,000 customers in the local area and concerns over potential flooding from the River Thames, and the smaller streams which surround the island, has prompted the works that will complete in October of next year.

The works involve replacing outdoor equipment which is sensitive to flood levels by constructing an elevated building on part of the existing site.  The new indoor equipment will be installed towards the end of 2019 and brought into service on a phased basis during 2020. 

SSEN’s project manager for Osney Island’s upgrade, David Zirpins explains more: “Osney Island’s unique location presents the potential of flooding from the nearby waterways, which could result in water levels rising to a point where our existing substation and site would be compromised resulting in the need to switch out equipment interrupting customer supplies.

“SSEN has been looking at how best to alleviate these flood risks, so that the residents of Osney Island and the surrounding area can feel confident that their power supply is robust, regardless of the weather and possible rising river levels.

“This is a considerable investment, as we have taken the decision to rebuild the substation in a specially constructed building; raised high enough that it will remain above the predicted flood level, ensuring that the area’s electricity supplies are safe and secure.”

Piling work for the foundations of the new substation building has already been completed and a temporary traffic management system is in place on Ferry Hinksey Road until the end of June to allow for new cables to be laid.

Letter drops have been made to homes, business and organisations on Osney Island to provide details of these essential works.