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£1.6million investment boost for Sandy – and its bats!

A £1.6million project to help boost electricity supplies for residents Sandy has had an additional benefit for some of its other inhabitants – a family of bats.

From Press releases - 12 October 2015 12:00 AM

A £1.6million project to help boost electricity supplies for residents Sandy has had an additional benefit for some of its other inhabitants – a family of bats.

When UK Power Networks, which owns and maintains the vast network of underground cables, overhead electricity lines and substations which deliver electricity to the doors of eight million people across East Anglia, London and the South East, began work to upgrade Sandy primary substation, they discovered bats were roosting at the site.

Project manager Jonathon Ratsey said that as well as extensively refurbishing the old substation building, upgrading and replacing the equipment inside, they worked with English Nature to provide a new home for the bats and have also upgraded the shared access road to the adjacent park.

He said: “With bats being a protected species, we worked with English Nature and our contractor ADAS to carry out extensive surveys before installing permanent purpose-built habit boxes in the walls of the substation building, which enabled the bats moving from within the fabric of the building to the new habitats.

“Then to improve things for the community and the local council who have supported us in our works, we have upgraded the shared access to the adjacent local park, with surplus materials from our works.

“So our work to boost the electricity supplies has not only benefited the 12,400 residents who are served by the Sandy primary substation, but the wider community and the wildlife too.”

The project is part of a £500million investment that the company makes each year in improving and maintaining its networks. During the eight years to 2023 £4.5billion is to be invested across the company’s distribution area to replace equipment, upgrade the network and secure power supplies.

The upgrade at Sandy primary substation has created more capacity on the network so that it will remain reliable now and into the future if there is increased demand such as the building of new homes and businesses in the area.

Jonathon added: “This investment highlights our commitment to ensuring the lights stay on for our customers.

“Occasionally power cuts can happen, often through reasons beyond our control. This scheme gives us the flexibility to restore power remotely where we can, getting the power back on in minutes for our customers.

“We continue to invest in new technology to ensure we can provide the best service possible to our customers.”