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We have completed the £18m North Shropshire Reinforcement Project

16/12/2022

We have completed an £18 million major reinforcement project in North Shropshire that will facilitate new growth and development across the region.

The project will also enhance the resilience of the network for 30,000 homes and businesses in the area.

It’s our largest reinforcement project in England and Wales, and will increase the network capacity to enable development plans and the further introduction of low carbon technologies. It will support new housing and business developments across the area including Oswestry, Wem and Whitchurch.

Since 2016 we have been planning and constructing the upgrade to the existing substation at Wem with the installation of a 132kV wood pole overhead line and underground cable from the existing substation at Oswestry.

To mark the substation being completed, a site visit and engineering presentation was held with representatives of North Shropshire local authorities and a group of STEM students from Thomas Adams Sixth Form College, Wem. 

North Shropshire Recinforcement visit

Throughout the project, our team worked closely with the local wildlife trust in Shropshire and other key stakeholders to undertake several environmental initiatives including habitat and hedgerow enhancements and pond and wetland restoration.

As part of the upgrade, in a UK first we trialled new eco-friendly treatments on 10% of the new wood overhead line poles. They were treated with copper oil, which is kinder to the environment than traditional creosote.

Mark Sobczak, 132kV General Manager for our SP Manweb Licence Area said: “Shropshire continues on its journey to becoming Net Zero by 2030 and we are proud to support this transition and the communities we serve.

“Our £18 million investment will also help communities in North Shropshire realise their own Net Zero ambitions by providing infrastructure to increase electricity network resilience and supporting the decarbonisation of transport, heat and industry in the area.”

Councillor Edward Towers, Shropshire Councillor for Wem, Wem Rural and Whixall said: “The North Shropshire reinforcement project is critical for our electrical infrastructure and, with the added capacity, facilitates future growth and development in the area. In addition, this will enable the transition to low carbon technologies, therefore I’m delighted to see the new equipment fully commissioned and providing electricity to homes and businesses.

“It’s also encouraging to learn about the range of environmental features that have been used in this project to limit the carbon footprint of the project activity and the future operation of the network, and I’m grateful to SP Energy Networks for providing the other stakeholders and I with regular updates throughout the duration of the project.”

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