Wiltshire villages’ power supplies to be boosted through £1 million upgrade

Five Wiltshire villages to the west of Lyneham are to benefit from a £1 million investment in their local electricity infrastructure, as Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) works to build a resilient and strong power supply for residents and business owners across the area. 

The substantial investment, which is due for completion by the end of September, will enable the distribution operator to upgrade the network supplying nearly 1,000 rural customers in Bremhill, Charlcutt, Christian Malford, Dauntsey, East Tyerton and Foxham, ensuring a more reliable and robust electricity infrastructure that meets their needs now and for many years to come. 

Starting with initial works on Monday 6 July in the village of Dauntsey, the project will include the refurbishment of 44 kilometres of overhead line, with 245 new poles, new transformers and high voltage switches, along with general maintenance and tree cutting. A further 7.5 kilometre section of the network supplying the villages will be completely rebuilt using modern and robust alternatives that will complement the associated refurbishment and help miminise any potential disruption to power supplies, especially during winter months and adverse weather conditions. 

In compliance with social distancing measures and in order to ensure maximum safety for customers in the area and colleagues working on the project, SSEN will carry out the programme of works while adhering to strict Government guidelines on social distancing and the use of enhanced Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). These working guidelines include implementing a one person one van policy, thorough safety checks in advance of any work, and maintaining a two metre distance at all times.

SSEN’s Project Manager for the Lyneham upgrade, Paul McInerney said: “SSEN has identified the villages near to Lyneham for this significant investment, to ensure homes and businesses in these rural areas have the network they need to supply the power they need now, but also to meet the requirements in the years ahead. 

“Due to current restrictions we are unable to carry out any public engagement events, but I want to assure everyone who lives and works locally that we will be available to answer any of their questions or concerns throughout the ten week project. 

“I also want to provide reassurance that for the duration of these works, which are scheduled for completion towards the end of September,we will be adhering to strict Government guidelines on social distancing, so we can ensure the safety of both our colleagues and our customers.

Paul added: “During these works, SSEN will be required to carry out temporary Planned Service Interruptions (PSI); these will be minimal and we will work closely with our customers to ensure their requirements are met. I’m aware that our customers may generally have concerns relating to power cuts during this time and I would encourage anyone who could benefit from additional assistance in the event of a power cut to consider registering for our Priority Services Register.” 

SSEN has extended its Priority Services Register (PSR) to those who are categorised as ‘high risk’ and ‘extremely high risk’ of severe illness from coronavirus, so they are now eligible to sign up for additional support through the free, tailored service. This includes those following government guidelines who have received a letter from the NHS to socially shield for a 12-week period. 

Customers are also eligible for SSEN's Priority Services Register if they: 

  • Are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Live with children under five
  • Are blind or partially sighted
  • Have a chronic illness
  • Use medical equipment / aids reliant on electricity
  • Are over 60
  • Would benefit from PSR services for any other reason, even if temporarily

SSEN produces its Priority Services Register leaflets in 11 different languages; all of which are also available to read and download from its website, by going to: www.ssen.co.uk/psr. The website will also translate every page to over 100 languages, and read 33 of them aloud; simply by clicking on the Accessibility ‘triple A’ button in the top right hand corner.

To find out more, please go to the Priority Services Register page on our website: www.ssen.co.uk/psr, where SSEN’s multi-language PSR leaflets can also be accessed and downloaded. 

As current conditions mean SSEN is unable to hold any public engagement events for the project, it will endeavour to keep residents and business owners in the vicinity of the works updated and able to raise any concerns they might have directly through the Project Manager, by email: Paul.Mcinerney@sse.com.

To read more about the ways in which teams are working to keep your power flowing during the coronavirus pandemic, please visit this page on our website: https://www.ssen.co.uk/covid19response