Powering ahead: MP welcomes major investment in Perth‘s city centre electricity network

SSEN engineers at the Thimblerow substation in Perth

Work is under way on a £1.7m project which will strengthen electricity supplies for homes and businesses in Perth city centre, as the Thimblerow substation receives a major refurb and equipment upgrade.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), the company responsible for the wires, cables and substations which supply homes and businesses across northern Scotland, will be working in the substation until Spring next year and, once complete, the project will ensure that both existing and future customers receive the safest, most reliable service possible.

Originally built in 1965, Thimblerow substation delivers power to nearly 8,000 Fair City homes and businesses and this investment is a reflection of the increasing demands on the Perth electricity network, not just from existing customers, but also from the growth in city-wide new developments.

From now until next April, SSEN’s teams will be working on site, replacing existing equipment with modern-day equivalents, all of which will make the network more resilient and go a long way to minimising the risk of power cuts.

This project forms part of a rolling programme of investment in the north of Scotland’s electricity distribution network. SSEN’s parent company, SSE plc, plans to invest over £7bn of low-carbon investments in the UK and Ireland over the next five years. That’s almost £4m every single day until 2025.

Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, welcomed the investment:

“This is an extremely significant investment in Perth city centre by SSEN and it is hugely welcome. We all know that the number of houses in the Perth area has increased quite significantly in recent times and it is welcome to see this investment in the energy network, so that the system can cope with this increase in demand.”

John Johnston is SSEN’s Project Engineer and responsible for overseeing these major works;  he said:

“The world has changed in so many ways since our Thimblerow substation was first built, and everyone is using a lot more power than they did in 1965. We’re committed to delivering the best service to our customers all year round, and this major upgrade work at the substation will benefit not only our existing customers, but also those who connect to our network in the future.”

John added that engineers have been working behind the scenes to temporarily re-route supplies that would normally be fed from Thimblerow to minimise disruption to the local community:

“We all know just how important electricity is to everyone, especially in the current climate when a lot more people are working from home, and so our specialist teams have been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that local power supplies won’t be affected as our teams on site complete their essential tasks.”

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 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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