UK Power Networks invests £11.5m in electricity grid near East Sussex market town to future-proof service for thousands of residents
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The company said it will construct a new grid substation next to the existing one in Broad Oak.
The company said its goal is to ‘future-proof’ the power network for thousands of residents.
Stephen Mortimer, project manager at UK Power Networks, said: “The new electricity equipment at Broad Oak will increase the resilience of electricity supplies, and deliver long-term network reliability and capacity benefits for thousands of homes and businesses across a wide area.”
The company said two new 60-megawatt, 60-tonne transformers are at the site as part of the project. Once energised, these will receive power at 132,000-volts, which will be taken down to 33,000-volts to distribute to substations and then local homes and businesses.
UK Power Networks said the investment will more than double the site’s capacity to 78-megawatts. More low carbon technologies will be connected to the electricity network in the future so this will help maintain reliable electricity supplies.
UK Power Networks added that a new 33,000-volt switchboard is under construction, with new circuit breakers to enable control, protection and disconnection of the equipment. The new Broad Oak switchboard is set to use environmentally-friendly technology, the company said, to help reduce the use of greenhouse gas sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).
The company said it is also committed to protecting native dormice in the area after ecology surveys identified their presence before work started. They have created an enriched dormice habitat on surrounding land.
Emma Mundy, from environmental consultancy ADAS, said: “The works have been undertaken under a Natural England licence for hazel dormice, with supervision provided at all key stages of the works and UK Power Networks worked closely with us to support this process. Nest boxes and planting have been undertaken to enhance the woodland for dormice, with monitoring surveys also being carried out to check on the local population of dormice.”
Work to install and connect the new electrical equipment will continue throughout 2024. UK Power Networks revealed it is investing £600 million this year to maintain safe and reliable power supplies for homes and businesses across the South East, London and East of England.