Boost to Nairn’s local electricity network

The local electricity infrastructure around Nairn is set for a £140k upgrade and refurbishment programme to ensure that the power keeps flowing across local communities.

Starting on 2 August, the 10-week project will see teams from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution carrying out inspections of the overhead power lines and wooden poles between Nairn and Dalcross, just outside Inverness, carrying out repairs and replacing equipment that is approaching the end of its scheduled working life.

In addition, engineers will install new automated technology along the lines, which will reduce the length of time customers are off supply on the rare occasions there is a power cut. 

Davie Carson, SSEN Distribution’s Project Manager, explains more about the new kit:

“The automated technology we’re installing works along the same idea as the trip switches in your home, and so if it detects a fault or the line gets struck by a bird or a tree branch, it will automatically turn the power off. 

“The new equipment will automatically attempt to reconnect those supplies after a short period of time. If turns out to be what we call a ‘transient fault’, such as a bird strike, the power will go back on without the need for an engineer to travel to switch it back on manually. If, after several attempts at reconnecting, the power still stays off then we’ll send a colleague to investigate further.

“Another benefit of the automation is that it gives our colleagues in the national Distribution Control Centre a real-time view of the network, and if we ever need to turn the power off for essential maintenance, they can do it remotely without the need to send an engineer to do it by hand.”

When carrying out their work on the lines, SSEN’s engineers will also be installing two additional pieces of equipment to protect the overhead infrastructure – bird diverters and lightning protectors – both of which will help to keep the power flowing through the local community. 

This project follows on from last year’s upgrade to the electricity infrastructure at nearby Cawdor and Ardersier, bringing SSEN’s investment in the local network to over £360,000.

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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