Ridgeway residents and businesses benefit from £20 million network boost

In the past two years Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has invested £20 million in the electricity infrastructure which serves the residents and businesses in the Ridgeway area of central southern England.

SSEN has sought to future-proof the network in the area, both to accommodate potential development and to boost resilience. The investment has been spread across five key projects across the areas’ high voltage network including Oxford, Witney, Swindon and Marlborough.

The multi-million-pound improvement programme reaching across parts of Oxfordshire and Wiltshire 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.

Austin Cobb, SSEN’s Lead Business Improvement Manager, met with Robert Courts MP to discuss the importance of the projects. Austin said:

"This is a significant investment to an area which is growing and developing year on year, and SSEN has embarked on this programme of works to strengthen the existing power supplies to homes and businesses, while ensuring it is robust enough to meet future needs.  

"At SSEN, we are committed to do all we can to keep the lights on 24/7 and by completing £20 million of works across Ridgeway in two years, SSEN is acting to reinforce the network that serves businesses, communities and residents, who rely on us to power their day."

Robert Courts MP added: "I welcome this significant investment which will help to support a more resilient, secure and reliable network for my constituents.

"It was useful to meet with SSEN at their Oxford Depot to discuss the details of the investment and how it will benefit residents and businesses across West Oxfordshire."

The five key projects to benefit from this two-year £20 million investment are:

  • £5 million in wood pole and conductor replacements on both 33kV and 11kV networks in the following areas and surrounding villages: Devizes (Carterton), Witney, Berinsfield, Deddington, Yarnton, Shipton Oliffe, Marlborough
  • £3 million in low voltage pole and conductor replacements across the Ridgeway Region
  • £2.5 million in plant replacement, including distribution substations plus associated plant and underground low voltage link boxes
  • £4 million in automation systems, plant and schemes in heavily populated supply areas
  • £2.5 million in undergrounding parts of Ridgeway’s existing overhead network in areas including Calne, and Wiltshire Grove and Frilford in Oxon.

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

The above photo shows Austin Cobb on the left, with Robert Courts MP in the centre alongside colleagues from SSEN's Ridgeway region.

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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