Thousands of residents around Chandlers Ford and Eastleigh will benefit after power workers with a head for heights completed a high voltage cable project to help keep the lights on.
The engineers, from Southern Electric Power Distribution (SEPD), were strapped into special trolleys suspended from power lines so they could refurbish parts of the electricity network between Rownhams and Velmore, Eastleigh.
Working at heights of up to 35 metres, along a 6.7km stretch of the line, they replaced hundreds of spacers – the metal joints which prevent high voltage cables from touching each other in windy weather. They also replaced insulators, which help to maintain the safe passage of electricity along the lines.
SEPD overhead line manager, Neil Derbyshire, explained: “Spacers are vital for preventing electricity cables from touching each other, which could damage them – a scenario which is likely to cause power cuts. Many of them on this part of the network were coming to the end of their lifespan, so replacing them will help to keep the lines safe – and the lights on for customers in Chandlers Ford and Eastleigh areas.
“It was quite a difficult job as it involved several crossings of the M27 and other busy main roads, which we did very early in the morning and at weekends to prevent any distractions to drivers. It’s challenging and obviously requires a head for heights, but by using the trolleys we can complete this important network investment safely without having to ask for any road closures.”
The refurbishment project, on which SEPD spent £65,000, took four weeks, and was completed following liaison with Highways Authorities in Hampshire.
Notes to editors: Southern Electric Power Distribution operates the high and low voltage electricity network that distributes electricity to around 2.9 million customers across central southern England. It is part of the SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) group.