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Project map is first of its kind in the UK

The country’s largest electricity distributor, is the first in the industry to launch an online map showing where over 100 miles of overhead cables have been undergrounded.

From Press releases - 3 July 2017 12:00 AM

UK Power Networks power lines go underground in Churchill's land

The interactive project demonstrates the electricity company’s achievements in restoring many historic views across the countryside, showing where power lines have been undergrounded in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks.

The project map also encourages people to suggest which others power lines could be considered in the East and South East of England, where UK Power Networks delivers power (it also keeps the lights on in London where most electricity cables are underground).

Viewers can log on to learn about completed projects totaling 170km (under orange ‘pins’) and planned projects (blue ‘pins’). The map is constantly updated as projects are planned, started and finished.

The map was the result of UK Power Networks’ working in collaboration with Yes&Pepper, a London-based ideas agency. The tool was built based on client-supplied information and continuous tests, with weekly calls and regular reviews in place for further development. The team managed to turn it around in ten weeks.

The inspiration for the project map came from the success of UK Power Networks’ existing power cut map, which enables people to see the progress to restore supplies after any power cuts throughout London, the South and South East of England. Since last summer, relevant customer tweets have been to the map in real time, and other power companies have started to follow its lead.

Jenny Carter from the digital team at UK Power Networks oversaw the map design. She said: “Ofgem encourages us to carry out undergrounding works in AONBs by providing special funding, but we wanted to take this one step further and share the positive impact this initiative has on the UK’s protected countryside, and engage further with local communities.
“We provide the expertise and manpower to underground these lines, allowing local residents and tourists to fully appreciate the surroundings. Such work also increases the reliability of power supplies in the area and this map celebrates all that hard work. We’re looking forward to hearing what people think of it, and will continue to update and improve the online map in future.”

Ross Peet, managing partner at Yes&Pepper, said: “When dealing with large data, it’s vital for the information to be reported in a visual manner, to allow easy access and offer an overall understanding in a matter of seconds. We’ve been working hand in hand with our client to build this innovative, user-centric project, always fine-tuning it for an optimal experience online. It’s been a real technical challenge for Yes&Pepper to pull everything together so quickly and accurately during testing, but the end result is incredibly efficient.”

See: www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/aonb/map.html