UK Power Networks has started a £5.1m power upgrade in Maidstone to boost the reliability and increase the electricity capacity for local homes and businesses.
The company, which delivers power to 18 million people across the South East, London and East of England through a vast network of cables, power lines and substations, is upgrading Maidstone’s network.
The project will meet growing demand for electricity in the town and increase the reliability of existing electricity supplies.
Matthew Crittenden, project manager at UK Power Networks, said: “This is one of several projects we are carrying out across the South East this year to maintain and upgrade the safety and reliability of the electricity network for local homes and businesses.
“We are constantly investing in new equipment to minimise power cuts and provide the best possible service to our local communities. Power cuts are less common these days and that is partly due to investments like this to ensure we deliver power safely and securely.”
Starting this summer, new cabling is being installed along a 4.1km route between UK Power Networks’ electricity substations in Maidstone and Shepway. A trenchless technique will be used to install the cables underneath the River Len and part of Mote Park.
Towards the end of the year, improvements will be carried out at the electricity substation in Shepway, which will eventually be connected to the new cabling. Two new, 42-tonne transformers, serving approximately 15,000 homes, are due to be installed there, replacing the two existing transformers.
This equipment plays an important role in stepping down the electricity voltage from 33,000 to 11,000-volts, so the electricity can be delivered to other local electricity substations, then on to local homes and businesses.
The work should not have any impact on electricity supplies. Short trenches will be excavated to lay pipework, then the ground will be returned to normal. Engineers pull new cables into position by using open excavations at intervals along the route.
UK Power Networks is investing more than £600m in its electricity networks in 2018/19 and more than £6.6bn over the eight years to 2023 to maintain safe and reliable power supplies for homes and businesses, both now and in the future.