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SP Energy Networks commences a £40m network refurbishment project

26th August 2021

SP Energy Networks is investing £40m in a network refurbishment project in East Lothian and the Borders to improve resilience of electricity supply and prepare this part of its network for a low carbon future.

This upgrade project is part of its wider £2 billion investment plans to futureproof its transmission network across Central and Southern Scotland over the next five years, as it continues to lead the way towards a cleaner, greener future.

The network provider is undertaking a major refurbishment project across a key overhead line route between Cockenzie in East Lothian and the village of Eccles in the Scottish Borders.

The total distance of the 400kV route, known as the ‘ZA overhead line’, is around 40 miles and was first constructed in the mid-1960s and provides one of the main corridors for transferring renewable electricity around the country.

Investment in the line now will ensure that the network continues to play an important role for years to come and is able to support the uptake of green technologies such as electric heating and cars, as SP Energy Networks helps the country towards net zero emissions targets.

In total, 190 towers will be inspected and the lines conductors and insulators will be replaced. The team will liaise closely with local landowners and authorities on the route to ensure disruption to the surrounding environment and communities is kept to a minimum throughout.

Pearse Murray, SP Transmission Director at SP Energy Networks, said: “This major refurbishment project is part of our extensive investment programme, which will ensure our network is ready for the electric future as we continue to support the country’s move to cleaner energy solutions.”

“The route stretches across a significant part of the country and the upgrade will help develop increased resilience as we transport energy around the country, feeding the distribution network and the supply for many customers.

“Much of the work will take place in rural settings and our teams have been agreeing access arrangements with local landowners and communities to ensure it can be carried out safely and efficiently.”

SP Energy Networks also recently announced a recruitment drive for 135 new green jobs in its transmission business to help transform the electricity network. The move will help enhance the network and enable the rapid uptake of renewables and low-carbon technology to help build a greener future.

The company is part of the ScottishPower group, a Principal Partner for the United Nations climate change conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow later this year. It is developing an energy model that will play a significant role in reaching the UK’s world-leading climate change targets and is investing a total of £10bn in the clean energy generation and networks infrastructure needed to help the UK decarbonise and reach Net Zero emissions.

SP Energy Networks owns and manages overhead and underground powerlines in southern and central Scotland as well as Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire.

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