Investing in the North-West Highlands to deliver a safe and secure electricity supply

SSEN teams working on overhead lines in the North-West Highlands

Homes and businesses in the North-West Highlands will receive an upgrade to their power supplies ahead of winter, as Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) carries out a £330k, two-week refurbishment to the local electricity network.

The project, which started this week and runs until 6 August, will see teams working along a 33km route, replacing the wooden electricity poles carrying overhead power lines between Kinlochewe, Kerry Falls and Aultbea.

Almost 2,000 properties in Aultbea, Gairloch, Badachro, Poolewe and Dundonnell will benefit from this investment, with SSEN’s teams also carrying out a programme of essential maintenance at SSEN’s Kerry Falls and Aultbea substations to ensure a robust and resilient network ahead of winter.

In addition, SSEN’s tree-cutting teams will be clearing trees and vegetation away from the lines which is a key part of the company’s year-round fault prevention programme, as the high winds and storms which can sweep across this part of the country bring the potential to blow trees and branches into the electricity equipment and cause power cuts.

SSEN’s Project Manager, John Shanks, said:

“We invest in our network all year round to make sure it’s in the best possible condition to provide a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity to our customers.

“Not only will this project see new wooden electricity poles installed, it also provides us with a great opportunity to carry out additional work which will boost the resilience of the network, minimising the risk of power cuts this winter and for years to come.”

To ensure the ongoing safety of members of the local community and SSEN engineers as they work, power is being turned off temporarily in the areas where work is being carried out. To minimise any disruption to local homes and businesses along the route, SSEN is using temporary mobile generation to keep the power flowing as the work progresses.

Pamela Harvey, SSEN’s Customer Relationship Manager for the Highlands and Islands, said:

“We've planned this project to ensure disruption to our customers is kept to a minimum as we work, but I’d like to remind customers of our Priority Services Register which offers free additional support to those who need it most during planned or unplanned interruption to supplies. I’d urge anyone who feels they may benefit from registering to visit our website or get in touch with our dedicated Priority Services team.”

People can qualify for additional support if they:

  • Are shielding during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Have a disability
  • Live with children under five
  • Are blind or partially sighted
  • Have a chronic illness
  • Use medical equipment/aids reliant on electricity
  • Are over 60

To find out more about the PSR, click here or call 0800 294 3259.

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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