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Power project will safeguard the electricity supply to the far north-west


By Calum MacLeod

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Some £350,000 worth of improvements are being carried out on the Cassley-Rhiconich electricity network.
Some £350,000 worth of improvements are being carried out on the Cassley-Rhiconich electricity network.

ELECTRICITY customers in the north-west Highlands can look forward to an improved service thanks to a £350,000 investment from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN).

Work is now under way between Cassley and Rhiconich to upgrade and strengthen the local electricity network, which serves around 900 properties in Durness, Rhiconich, Kinlochbervie, Scourie, Kylesku, Achfary and Overscaig.

This involves the replacement of 80 wooden electricity poles along a 42km route, installing lightning protection and connecting innovative automated equipment to speed up restoration times in the event of a power cut.

Once complete in early September, this investment will minimise the risk of power cuts, reduce disruption in the event of a fault on the network and provide greater security of supply to local homes and businesses.

John Shanks, SSEN’s project manager, said: “Our priority is to provide a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity to our customers, so our rolling programme of year-round investment in our network ensures it’s in the best possible condition.

“As we saw a couple of weeks ago, a severe lightning storm passed through the north of Scotland, with 17,000 lightning strikes recorded in a 12-hour period. By installing lightning protection on our overhead network, we can reduce the risk of disruption to our customers’ power supplies.

“We’re also installing automated equipment which enables remote control of the network from our main control room, speeding up restoration times if a fault does occur on the network.”

To minimise disruption to customers, SSEN is installing temporary mobile generation to keep the power flowing as the work progresses.

SSEN is also reminding customers of its Priority Services Register, which offers free additional support to those who need it most.

People can register for additional help if they are over 60, have hearing or sight problems, have a disability or chronic illness, live with children under five, use medical equipment or aids reliant on electricity, or temporarily need extra support.

To find out more about Priority Services, please visit ssen.co.uk/PSR or call 0800 294 3259.



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