Investment for Plymouth power network

A £276,000 project to upgrade a substation in Plymouth city centre has been completed.

Western Power Distribution (WPD), the electricity distributor for the region, is committed to investing in its network to further improve supply reliability and customer service levels. 

Work started in 2014 following a combination of WPD’s commitment to asset replacement works, re-supplying the existing LV network and customer redevelopment work to convert the site to commercial and retail units, including over 500 students flats and a hotel.

Planner Nick Leavey, who along with Technicians Pete Jackson and Chris Brown oversaw the project, explained: “As with most city centre developments it was an extremely awkward site with restricted access via a narrow side road.  Although the building was gutted, we still had to maintain supplies to the site for the building works and the existing retail units by staged transfer of connections and back feeding the LV network.

“Pedestrian access was via steep, narrow steps into the basement substation with the old switchgear having to be lifted out using access covers (large, removable steel plates) within the delivery bay of the adjacent store.

“The majority of the jointing works were off site and we had the difficult task of not only maintaining the only access into the site, but also allowing access to the delivery bay of the stores.”

The work will not only further secure a reliable supply, but will provide safer access for engineers.