SSEN invests to strengthen Wick’s electricity network

Communities in and around Wick are set to benefit from a two-part project to strengthen the local electricity network, reducing the risk of power cuts this winter and for many years to come.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) will be replacing 35 wooden electricity poles between Wick and Wester, as well as installing new automated technology which can be controlled remotely from the company’s Control Room.

Working in conjunction with local landowners, the project is being carried out in two stages to minimise disruption to local farming communities during this summer’s harvest season.

The initial stage of this critical work will begin on 30 June and will last for approximately three weeks;  the second phase is scheduled to start in September and is expected to last 4-5 weeks, with further details confirmed nearer the time.

SSEN’s Project Manager, Thomas Hoffmann, explains more about how the £260,000 investment will help make local supplies more robust and resilient:

“Ahead of winter we want to do as much as we can to make our network as strong as possible and, given the winds we can get up here, one of the ways we can do this is to replace the wooden poles that are approaching the end of their scheduled working lives.

“As well as these new poles, we’re also installing automated equipment which ‘talks’ to our Control Room and lets the teams there know the exact locations of any faults which may develop; it also means they can now turn the power on and off remotely, which is a great help in getting our customers’ supplies back on as safely and as quickly as possible.”

In line with the Government’s coronavirus guidelines, everyone working on the project will be maintaining social distancing measures, and SSEN has also introduced its own, additional, safety measures to keep its customers, staff and contractors safe during the pandemic.

Pamela Harvey, SSEN’s Customer Relationship Manager, explains more about the company’s focus on safety during the coronavirus pandemic:

“Safety has always been our number one priority, and even before lockdown was first announced in March, we’d brought in extra safety and hygiene measures, such as ensuring PPE and tools are regularly wiped down with sanitiser. We continue to work with strict social distancing measures and for planned work such as this project, we have a policy of ‘one person, one vehicle’.

“If you see our teams carrying out critical work in your community, we want to reassure you that everything we’re doing is safe and is a vital part of our commitment to keeping the power flowing, not just in these unprecedented times, but for many years to come.”

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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