Multi-million pound Ascot to Longcross electricity network upgrade completed

A £7.4 million pound project by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) to upgrade and improve the electricity infrastructure through Longcross and Ascot has been completed on schedule and to budget.

The multi-million pound investment programme by SSEN will improve the resilience of the power supply for those who live and work in the area, and helps prepare for increased demand on the electricity network as the UK aims to meet its climate change targets.

The investment upgrades over 14 kilometres of infrastructure, and despite the project being temporarily halted in March, SSEN still delivered the project in the original 11 month timescale it originally set out.  

The programme of works included the removal of overhead power lines through Chobham Common Nature Reserve and the refurbishment of the primary substation at the site of the Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment; enabling SSEN to protect and enhance the local environment, while strengthening the existing supply and allowing for future commercial and residential connections.

SSEN’s Project Manager, Stuart Dickson explains more: “Throughout this project, we were very aware of understanding the needs of the local residents and business owners, and working to cause the least disruption to their days.

“It was through ongoing local discussions that we realised our original route and timings would potentially impact the nearby Charters School during their exam time. Not wishing to add further stress to pupils during an already challenging time, SSEN worked with Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Highways Department and Surrey County Council to agree a revised and mutually acceptable programme to avoid working near the school during this time.

“We used this same level of consideration during lockdown and decided to temporarily stop the works so we could provide reassurance to our customers and colleagues that their safety during this time was paramount.”

Stuart added: “I’d like to thank residents, business owners and those visiting the area for their patience and understanding while we carried out this sizeable project. The substation refurbishment is now complete and the overall programme of completed works will keep this vital infrastructure resilient and secure for decades to come."

In addition to providing a safe and reliable electricity network for local residents and business owners, SSEN is future-proofing its infrastructure to prepare for changing consumer demands. Electric vehicle (EV) ownership and the prevalence of other low-carbon technologies continue to grow across the area.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) expect electricity demand to double by 2050 as more and more customers shift to EVs and heating. SSEN is working to understand the ambitions of the communities it serves, and to enable this transition.