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£524,000 project to upgrade Newick’s electricity network

More than half a million pounds is being spent to increase the reliability of electricity supplies in Newick.

From Press releases - 9 April 2015 12:00 AM

More than half a million pounds is being spent to increase the reliability of electricity supplies in Newick.

UK Power Networks is currently replacing an 8.6km stretch of overhead power lines in rural Sussex to strengthen the resilience of the power network, particularly in severe weather.

One hundred spans of electricity cables are being replaced, plus 103 poles and metal fittings. The main difference is that the new wires are stronger and covered, which makes them more resistant to transient faults caused by windborne debris and branches being blown into the lines.

Work began on March 23 and is due to be finished by the beginning of May. The 11,000-volt power lines deliver electricity supplies to homes and businesses and largely stretch across farmland.

Brian Stratton, head of distribution capital delivery at UK Power Networks, said: “We are replacing the existing cable with a stronger type which is more robust during wind, ice and faults. The new cables which we are putting in have also got a covering which reduces the likelihood of power cuts when branches or windborne material fall across the power lines.

“This project is all part of our year-round work to improve the performance of the electricity network. The benefits are most likely to be felt most during the winter months, particularly during severe weather, when this new cable will increase the reliability of power supplies.”

Specialist overhead line engineers isolate sections of the network to safely work on the equipment, carefully unfastening the cables from the wooden poles and lowering them to the ground. Redundant electricity poles are usually dug out of the ground and the new poles are put up along the same route to minimise disturbance to the environment.

Across Kent, Surrey and Sussex there are about 16,500km of overhead power lines and 40,000km of underground cables. UK Power Networks is investing over £500million in its electricity networks this year to make sure they remain safe and reliable for its 8.1million customers.

Some customers experienced a short interruption at the start of the project, while arrangements were put in place to safely work on the equipment, followed by a brief interruption when the job is finished. Any customers whose supplies are affected are notified in advance.