A £7.2 million upgrade of the electricity network across Angus and Tayside has been under way to strengthen it over the remaining winter months.
The work has been carried out as part of a planned £160 million company-wide investment programme over the next four years by Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) which will improve the resilience of the network in the North of Scotland.
SHEPD covers 25 per cent of the UK land mass with only two per cent of the customer base. Despite the geographical challenge this presents, SHEPD has said it has managed to improve network efficiency this year through its responsiveness, drawing on previous experience in the extreme storms of last winter and innovation using the latest technologies.
Engineers based across Tayside have spent several months ramping up maintenance and refurbishment on key parts of the local electricity network to ensure the power equipment is ready.
Line patrols have taken place throughout the region to provide a detailed view of the electricity network’s condition with particular attention placed on the main fault areas from last year to identify parts which may have caused problems again. This has enabled SHEPD to take steps to help prevent reoccurrences this year.
Stuart Hogarth, SHEPD’s director of distribution, said: “This new investment work in the Tayside area will mean our network is even more robust. If there is a power cut, supplies in these areas will be restored more quickly as a result of this investment.
“We have paid particular attention to areas which caused us problems last year to help prevent reoccurrences this year. Without this significant investment in the Tayside region, winter storms could cause much more damage.”
SHEPD also has advanced weather monitoring systems in place, which give staff five or six days to plan ahead and be ready for severe weather. This means it is far easier to mobilise crews, materials and equipment as quickly as possible. It is critical in an emergency that customers can get information they require. SHEPD has a tried and tested storm plan to ensure correct levels of staffing in its depots and call centres.
Customers who do find themselves without electricity, should call the company’s emergency contact number on 0800 300 999. SHEPD also has an on-line service which will be updated live with details of any major interruptions to supply, providing real time information and advice for customers experiencing loss of supply.
The website can be found at http://www.ssepd.co.uk/Home/ while regular updates on interruptions will be posted at Twitter@hydroPD.