Oxfordshire power supplies boosted by SSEN investment in local network

Two neighbouring areas in Oxfordshire are set to benefit from a £636,000 investment by Scottish and Southern Electricity Distribution (SSEN) to upgrade and refurbish their overhead power network.

The extensive upgrade programme, for the area of Witney South and the village of Yarnton, is already under way and will run until the end of August 2021. As part of the improvement project, SSEN will carry out tree-cutting works and pole replacements on a 34 kilometre stretch of the local overhead electricity infrastructure, boosting the resilience of supply for the 12,000 customers who live and work locally.

In addition to replacing the 108 poles supporting the area’s overhead cables, the distribution operator will cut back the nearby branches and vegetation which can interfere with the overhead lines, resulting in power cuts.

Network reliability is a key priority for SSEN and the communities it serves. Following a series of engagements with local stakeholders, SSEN planned the programme of works for Witney South, Yarnton and the surrounding areas to maintain a robust infrastructure for customers’ changing demands.

SSEN’s Project Manager, Paul Mcinerny said:

“This is a large section of our overhead network and SSEN’s upgrade programme will considerably boost the resilience of the power supplies to Witney South, Yarnton and many of the smaller hamlets surrounding them.

“At SSEN, we want to ensure that our customers have a robust power supply all year round and have carefully timed these upgrade works to ensure the minimum impact on the local wildlife, the environment and, most importantly, our customers. Our timing also ensures the completion of the works well ahead of winter when high winds and adverse weather conditions bring with them the possibility of power cuts.”

Paul added:

"These works will be carried out with very minimal planned power supply interruptions. While these will only last a short time and customers will be notified well in advance, I would like to take this opportunity to remind residents of our Priority Services Register. Our free, additional service helps those who may be vulnerable in the event of a power cut and I would encourage our customers to sign up to benefit from this extra assistance.”  

SSEN offers free, additional support to customers that need it through its Priority Services Register (PSR). Customers can qualify if they:  

  • 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
  • Are categorised at ‘high risk’ and ‘extremely high risk’ of severe illness from coronavirus.

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

SSEN’s investment in Oxfordshire will ensure a power supply that suits the needs of residents now and in to the future. By upgrading this section of the local infrastructure, SSEN is helping its customers to achieve their decarbonisation ambitions; so as more of them turn to low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles, they have a supply and network that’s fit for purpose.