WPD completes network improvement project in Dorset

WPD completes network improvement project in Dorset

Western Power Distribution has completed the undergrounding of 600m of overhead power lines in a Dorset village.

The network operator has also upgraded an underground substation in the village of Loders.

Team manager Alex Chamberlain, who is overseeing the project, said: "Many of the residents have commented favourably on the benefits. The work will have a huge impact on visual amenity and network reliability will be further secured.

"WPD has one of the highest percentages of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks within its network territory. A steering committee with representatives from environmental groups has been established to create a shortlist of undergrounding schemes for consideration. In this way, environmentalists have a key role in deciding which sites are the most iconic and should benefit from investment."

The £250,000 scheme involved removing all overhead services, including 600m of low voltage mains wires, plus upgrading an underground substation and pole mounted transformer, as well as replacing three high voltage poles.

Crewkerne Underground Technician Dave Kirby, who worked on the project, explained its complexities and benefits: "The remote location and access to the village of Loders made the job difficult, as the only other access road for residents was cut off in 2016 by a landslide.

"As we had to close the road to complete parts of the work this presented some difficulties, but with our contractors liaising with the residents, everyone working together and agreeing on times when we could close the road with no vehicle access, the scheme was achieved.

"The work will not only improve visual impact for the village, but it will also further secure the network to maintain supplies for rural communities during faults and maintenance works."

The project took six months to complete with a team of 40 staff working on a part of the network that serves approximately 100 homes and a primary school.


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