£540k substation upgrade keeps the power flowing in Montrose

A major upgrade project at one of the main substations in Montrose is now complete, making the local electricity network serving 4,500 homes and businesses more robust, resilient and less susceptible to power cuts.

Engineers from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution began upgrading the substation in February, and over the past six months have been replacing electrical equipment known as switchgear, which operates similar to the trip switches in our homes, temporarily turning the power off if a fault develops or maintenance is required. 

Originally installed in 1974, the equipment was approaching the end of its scheduled working life and has been replaced with the latest technology to boost the resilience of the local network.

SSEN’s Project Manager, Nathan Gannon, explains more about the switchgear and how it will improve the service for customers in parts of Montrose and surrounding villages:

“The new kit is automated, which means that the engineers in our Distribution Control Centre have a real-time view of the local network, whereas in the past we would have needed a colleague to actually visit the substation to get the same details.

“As well as giving our engineers all of this more detailed information, it will also help us reduce the number of customers that are impacted on the rare occasions there is a fault on the network, as well as shortening the actual duration of the power cut. 

“When a fault causes our safety equipment to operate and turn the power off, the new technology can automatically isolate the particular section of network where the fault is and will switch the power back on for the remaining properties if safe to do so, often in a matter of minutes. This will significantly reduce the duration of a power cut for customers, as previously a member of our local team would have needed to go to the substation and manually turn the power back on.”

Speaking of the project completion, Gary Bartlett, SSEN’s Head of South Caledonia region, said:

“We’re committed to providing our customers with a safe, reliable and responsive electricity network, and this major upgrade at one of our main substations in Montrose will make a real difference to homes and businesses in the area.”

The above image shows the newly upgraded substation at Montrose.

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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