SP Energy Networks, which owns and manages overhead and underground power lines in southern and central Scotland as well as Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire, is investing £40m in a network refurbishment project in the East Lothian and the Borders region of Scotland to improve the resilience of its electricity supply and prepare this part of its network for a low carbon future. This upgrade project is part of its wider £2 billion investment plans to future-proof its transmission network across Central and Southern Scotland over the next five years.
The network provider is undertaking a major refurbishment project across a key overhead line route between Cockenzie in East Lothian and the village of Eccles in the Scottish Borders. The total distance of the 400 kV route, known as the ‘ZA overhead line’, is around 40 miles, was first constructed in the mid-1960s and provides one of the main corridors for transferring renewable electricity around the country.
In total, 190 towers will be inspected and the line’s conductors and insulators will be replaced. SP has undertaken to liaise closely with local landowners and authorities on the route to ensure disruption to the surrounding environment and communities is kept to a minimum.
SP Energy Networks is part of the ScottishPower group, a principal partner for the United Nations climate change conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow later this year. It is developing an energy model that is expected to play a significant role in reaching the UK’s climate change targets and is investing a total of £10 bn in the clean energy generation and networks infrastructure that will be needed to help the UK decarbonise and reach Net Zero emissions.