Gisla to benefit from £1.4m electricity network upgrade

The electricity network serving Gisla on the Isle of Lewis is set for a £1.4m upgrade, making power supplies more robust, resilient, and less susceptible to power cuts.

Preparatory work on the nine-month project by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution is set to start later this month, with main construction works beginning in mid-September.

The investment will strengthen the main electricity network between Gisla and Callanish, incorporating several location-specific initiatives designed with Western Isles’ weather in mind. The overhead network will be upgraded to include:

  • A new, thicker and more resilient power line
  • Thicker, heavier wooden poles
  • Wider spacing between power lines to prevent them from clashing during high winds

SSEN Distribution’s Head of Region, Nik Wheeler, said: 

“We know how important a reliable supply of electricity is to our customers, and the work on this project will significantly upgrade the network serving local communities in and around Gisla.

“With the Western Isles regularly experiencing some of the strongest winds across our network area in the north of Scotland, our planning teams have looked at ways we can protect our infrastructure in the face of a typical winter storm.

“This £1.4 million investment will boost the resilience of the local network and help deliver on our ongoing commitment to ensure a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity to the homes and businesses we serve.”

While SSEN’s teams will use their own equipment for some of the project’s more specialist tasks, they will also use local hire companies for other machinery to minimise the environmental impact of transporting it from the mainland.

The new infrastructure will be built along the same route as the existing line between SSEN’s substations at Callanish and Gisla. Once construction works are complete, SSEN’s teams will begin the process of energising the new line and decommissioning the old one, with the project expected to complete by May 2022.

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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