A PROGRAMME costing hundreds of thousands of pounds has now been completed in Shaftesbury, meaning electricity supplies have been upgraded and “future-proofed” for more than 7,000 residents.

Despite a slight delay in the project as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has now completed works across the town totalling £390,000, with a focus on supporting Dorset’s zero carbon emissions target.

The scheme involved replacing network equipment which had reached the end of its working life with modern and efficient alternatives, including new poles for overhead lines, transformers and switches, and low voltage conductors.

In addition to further improving the resilience of supply, SSEN said the investment in Shaftesbury’s electricity network will help to future-proof its infrastructure for any changing demands of its residents and businesses.

SSEN said the works were in response to the company’s commitment to taking a ‘you said, we did’ approach to investing in its infrastructure.

SSEN’s project planner, John O’Reilly said: “As part of SSEN’s ongoing network investment programme, these works have been critical in ensuring Shaftesbury’s infrastructure is not only winter-ready, but also ready to help Dorset achieve its net-zero ambitions.”

Responding to the delay of the works, John added: “The safety of our customers and colleagues is always our priority at SSEN, so while we were disappointed to have to delay the completion of Shaftesbury’s upgrade works, we had no hesitation in doing what was best for all of those involved.

“The works resumed as soon as we were able to safely accommodate the necessary social distancing measures and I’d like to thank the residents and business owners in the town for their patience while we worked to improve this power supply that will serve them for years to come.”

The Committee on Climate Change expects electricity demand to double by 2050 as more and more customers shift to electric vehicles and heating.

SSEN says it is working to understand the ambitions of the communities it serves, and to enable this transition.

SSEN has published ‘Accelerating a Green Recovery’, setting out ten measures for the Government in its bid to ensure no communities are left behind in the transition to net zero carbon emissions.