East Hampshire MP visits multimillion-pound project to support Hampshire’s net zero ambitions

Image above shows Chris Slingsby, SSEN’s Head of Major Projects South (left) with Damian Hinds MP for East Hampshire on site at the Petersfield project 

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) hosted Damian Hinds MP to discuss its £8.4m network investment programme for Petersfield and Fernhurst, and its role in supporting an expected increase in electricity demand. 

The UK has a legally-binding commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Surface transport is the largest source of UK carbon emissions, with cars responsible for approximately 40% of that total. The decarbonisation of the transport sector will require extensive electrification, bringing new demand on the network.

Leading distribution network operator SSEN is actively working to understand how to manage and accommodate this increased demand in a cost-effective manner for the communities it serves. The investment works at Petersfield will increase its network capacity in the area and be able to accommodate low carbon technologies like EVs connecting to the network.

SSEN hosted Damian Hinds MP to discuss the £8.4 million works, upgrading nearly 15 kilometres of electricity infrastructure serving the homes and businesses of Petersfield and Fernhurst. He said:

“We know that increasing capacity for electrification will be important as we work towards reaching our net zero target for carbon emissions by 2050, and I welcome this investment locally by SSEN.  It was good to discuss the EV transition and the potential impact for local businesses and residents.”

Chris Slingsby, SSEN’s Head of Major Projects South, said: “Network investment will be critical to realising and accommodating the UK’s net zero ambitions. The Petersfield investment is part of a rolling programme we manage to ensure our network performance continues to improve and delivers a service the communities we serve expect.

“I’d like to thank Damian for taking the time to visit and discuss our ambitions for Hampshire, and distribution area across central southern England.”

This week SSEN published Accelerating a Green Recovery which calls for the UK to build the most extensive EV infrastructure in the world by 2025, to ensure that access is ‘universal’, and empower individuals to make the switch.  The universal provision of charge points can be secured through electricity networks working with local authorities on “area-wide tenders”.

Following the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the works at Petersfield had initially been delayed in March before restarting in May this year. The works are being undertaken in strict adherence to government guidelines and the use of enhanced Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), and each site visitor is tested on arrival. 

For further information on the Petersfield – Fernhurst project please visit https://www.ssen.co.uk/petersfield-fernhurst/