AN £8 MILLION project which will safeguard power supplies to local homes and businesses in Marchington has been completed in Burton-on-Trent.
The new multi-million pound initiative which will improve supply reliability to Marchington homes and businesses involves it upgrading equipment in a major substation, which supplies power to 48,000 customers.
The announcement comes soon after energy company Meaford Energy Limited announced proposals for a new power plant in Staffordshire.
The investment is designed to better accommodate any increased demands placed on the power network in the future for additional developments.
WPD’s Projects Distribution Manager Patrick Booth said: “It ensures that we can provide a high level of service to these areas in the long term by improving the infrastructure and security of our electricity network.”
The work, which took two years to complete, forms part of WPD’s commitment to provide a consistently high level of service to customers.
It is investing around £2 billion on its electricity network between 2010 and 2015.
Supply reliability was an issue recently raised by the renewable energy experts behind a photovoltaic panel project in Marchington Woodlands.
Andrew Price, part of the team behind the scheme to install photovoltaic panels across more than 1,000sq m of unspoilt countryside, said: “The electricity infrastructure in the Uttoxeter area isn’t the best as it’s the end of the line and has been unsuitable for some time.”
An electricity supply professional also added his opinion to the debate surrounding the best way to improve supply reliability.
Mike Tweed, of Power Projects said: “The continuing misinformation and scaremongering peddled by Meaford Energy Limited is all too common amongst these greedy small energy firms in their attempts to garner public opinion and make millions at the expense of our countryside.
“I also work in the electricity supply industry and would like to put a few facts forward in reply to these proposals.
“For it’s size, Uttoxeter is very well served two robust 132,000 volt supplies which both come directly from the large and well connected Willington substation near Burton-on-Trent.
“Small to medium generating plants - including wind and solar plants - are not connected directly to the National Grid, they are connected into the local distribution network instead.
“These plants cannot generate if the grid supply is off, so in the event of a National Grid blackout, these proposed plants will be forced to automatically switch off, so the idea that they will somehow keep the lights on is complete bunkum on the part of these firms.
“I agree we need more electricity generation as old stations are retired, but the way these small firms go about it is all wrong.
“We need more ‘super-stations’, large plants away from populations, as well as massive offshore wind farms, connected to the National Grid to serve all at a national level, as that is the most efficient method.”