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SP Energy Networks completes £7.5 million upgrade to future-proof the electricity network in Cheshire

06/03/2020

SP Energy Networks has successfully completed a £7.5 million project to modernise key elements of the electricity network that serves over 80,000 homes and businesses across Warrington and the surrounding areas in Cheshire.

Detailed planning commenced early in 2018, with the main works starting in May 2019 which involved the refurbishment of more than 16km of 132,000 volt overhead lines, and the replacement of steel towers.

Whilst the project team at SP Energy Networks took special precautions to minimise the impact of its work across the route, one particular site presented a unique challenge. A helicopter was deployed to Parkington Meadow, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) that contains rare plant species such as Giant Hogweed and Himalayan Balsam. The helicopter was used to remove the existing steel tower then lower its replacement into position, to minimise the effect on the surrounding environment.

The overhead line was originally constructed in 1933 and, whilst it has benefitted from regular maintenance and refurbishment, this project represents the single largest upgrade since that time. The project will benefit over 80,000 homes and businesses in the Cheshire area, providing a stronger and more resilient network for decades to come.

Mark Sobczak, Head of 132kV Programmes at SP Energy Networks, said: “We are committed to maintaining and improving the electrical infrastructure across Cheshire. The investment in Warrington and its surrounding areas demonstrates our continued commitment to delivering strong network resilience to our customers, particularly as we transition towards a low carbon economy and see the continued introduction of electric vehicles.”

SP Energy Networks owns and manages overhead and underground powerlines in Cheshire as well as Merseyside, North Wales, North Shropshire and Southern and Central Scotland. For more information about SP Energy Networks and its services, visit: spenergynetworks.co.uk

For further information, please contact Lyndsey Taylor-Whitelaw or Fraser Clarke by calling 0131 561 8628 or emailing spnetworks@stripecommunications.com.

Notes to Editors

SP Energy Networks:

  • SP Energy Networks (SPEN) is the licensed Electricity Distributor (DNO) for Central & Southern Scotland and for Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire. It has 30,000 substations (one substation for every 100 customers), 40,000km overhead lines (once around the globe), and 70,000km underground cables.
  • SP Energy Networks also operates the Transmission Network in Central and Southern Scotland. It takes electricity generated from power stations, windfarms and various other utilities and transport it through its vast transmission network, consisting of over 4,000km of overhead and 320km of underground lines. It has 129 transmission substations in its network that helps to manage extra high voltage electricity supplies.
  • From 2015 to 2023 SP Energy Networks plans to invest approximately £7 billion into the electricity network.
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