Substation upgrade prepares Laurencekirk for bright future

An £800,000 project to upgrade and strengthen the electricity network for 3,000 customers in Laurencekirk is progressing well and is on schedule to be completed next month.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution began the work in November last year, which has seen the project team carry out a major refurbishment of the town’s main substation, involving the replacement of two transformers and installing new automation equipment. This work will not only mean a more robust and resilient supply for existing customers, but also for homes, businesses and new developments who connect to the network in years to come.

Laurencekirk has been identified by SSEN as a community with great potential for growth in the years ahead, and Michael O'Donnell, the company’s Project Engineer explains more about the work and the difference it will make in the local community:

“At SSEN our priority is delivering a safe, reliable and secure supply of electricity to our customers while minimising the risk of power cuts for homes and businesses.  As part of this project, we’re replacing the old transformers with new higher capacity ones, which will help to ensure an even more reliable and secure supply of electricity to our community, not just now, but for many years to come. 

“The push for net zero means it is extremely important we ensure our network is ready ahead of the forecasted increase in the use of heat pumps, electric vehicles and other new technologies. Our upgrade project in Laurencekirk is a great example of this forward-thinking in action and a huge step towards meeting customers' needs and fulfilling our company vision.

“We’ve now completed the installation of the first of the two transformers, which is a major milestone for the project team. As it’s such a large piece of equipment, we worked with the local community to agree on the best time for it to arrive on site as we needed to limit the traffic on the nearby road during its delivery. I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and co-operation.”

Working during the coronavirus pandemic has brought its own challenges, and Michael explains the additional safety measures that he and his teams have been following to keep the local community and colleagues safe: 

“In addition to enhanced PPE and the use of sanitation stations, the Laurencekirk upgrade team has been kept small, have travelled to site separately and have been  ensuring strict social distancing rules are in place.”

The recent removal and subsequent recycling of the old transformer will allow civil works to begin for the base of the second new transformer, with the project set to be complete by March this year.

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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