A major project to upgrade the reliability of power supplies for homes and businesses across Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire has reached a significant milestone.
The latest stage of one of the region’s biggest electricity infrastructure investments for years has seen new equipment between Little Barford and Eaton Socon energised at the end of last month, as the project continues to deliver on time and on budget.
The £35 million scheme by UK Power Networks alongside its Alliance partners Kier, Wood and Morrison Energy Services has seen a new 132,000-volt underground cable installed that stretches 2.5km.
The new cable route was achieved using a series of long and complex directional drills to minimise the impact on the local infrastructure and environment. The drilling went under two major roads, a river and a golf course during its progress.
A new Supergrid transformer is being installed at National Grid’s substation at Eaton Socon to reinforce the electricity network capacity when the project completes in 2023.
New electrical switching equipment at Little Barford substation owned by UK Power Networks will ensure the continued security of supply to 190,000 customers locally in Cambridge, Bedford and St Neot’s and future-proof supplies, as well as enabling the connection of more low carbon electricity generation.
Geraint Hancock, project manager for UK Power Networks, said: “The continued success of this project is the result of dedicated teamwork across the Alliance and fine engineering. We have overcome some significant logistical challenges to make this happen.
“Little Barford’s new cable connection to Eaton Socon ensures it will remain robust in the future, and there is a lasting community benefit in terms of safe and reliable power supplies for homes and businesses in Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.”
UK Power Networks introduced its ED1SON Alliance in 2015, a partnership of four key contractors implementing major infrastructure projects. The company distributes electricity supplies across London, the South East and East of England, and this is part of a £600 million annual investment to upgrade and maintain its networks.
A video of the project in action can be viewed here: Girder Bridge Heads to Eaton Socon Substation – YouTube with a further round-up of the work done at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZsHP4nOGiE