Scotland’s electricity network is to benefit from new technology that can restore power within 24 hours if severe weather leads to a loss of electricity this winter.
SP Energy Networks’ (SPEN) emergency restoration system can be deployed at “a moment’s notice” to support both overhead and underground lines, allowing for a far more rapid response that has previously been possible.
According to the Scottish Power subsidiary, it also allows engineers to replace aging technology that previously took weeks to install.
The system, which developers have compared to “giant Meccano”, is built from light weight, compact components and can be constructed from ground level, with a base that is adaptable to any terrain.
Once erected, it establishes a temporary power bypass between damaged power lines, poles or towers while engineers carry out repairs.
The system has also been adapted to allow it to be used where faults are discovered underground.
Guy Jefferson, customer service director at SPEN, said: “When bad weather hits, our engineers work 24/7 to keep the lights on. We know from experience that the worst winter storms can result in some power loss particularly when lines are hit by trees or brought down by high winds.
“The cutting-edge design of the Emergency Restoration System makes it possible for our engineers to make repairs faster than ever before, while keeping our customers connected to the power network.
“While extreme power cuts occur very rarely, our teams are prepared for every eventuality. This system is lightweight and can be easily transported and assembled in several configurations to suit all types of terrain no matter the weather conditions.
“We are acutely aware of how much more time people spend at home in the current environment, and how crucial those power supplies are to those who rely on still being able to work effectively and carry out other essential daily tasks. We use bespoke weather forecasting to prepare ahead of any bad weather, moving our teams and resources around to likely hot spots so we can react as quickly as possible to major outages in the unlikely event that they occur.
“That’s why we are proud our engineers are at the forefront of innovation to enhance the resilience of our network, enabling us to keep the power flowing for our communities and the lights on whatever the weather.”