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SPEN Preparing for Net Zero August 2022 Newsletter

Dear Stakeholder

Please find below the August 2022 edition of the SP Energy Networks ICE monthly newsletter highlighting the important work we are doing to Prepare for Net Zero.

Our £34million investment to help people across Liverpool live greener lives

We are continuing to invest in new technologies and local energy infrastructure to help people across Liverpool electricify the way they live, work and travel.

A proud partner and sponsor of the Echo Awards 2022, we have played a vital role in the local Liverpool community for more than 25 years and are investing more than £34 million to help the city achieve its goal to become net zero by 2040.

With the demand for low-carbon technologies including electric vehicles and heat pumps on the rise, we are continuously investing and innovating to ensure people can easily make the move towards cleaner and greener lifestyles. Across Merseyside, this is being achieved through ongoing investment projects in the region, including a £3.67 million investment in Birkenhead Town Centre and Wirral Waters to support regeneration and the move to electric vehicles and greener heating solutions.

Project Charge is also one of the many projects we have launched to help Liverpool meet its Net Zero target. The project is supporting the development of more electric vehicle (EV) charging points to help people leave petrol and diesel cars behind. It’s creating a map that identifies where charging points will be required and where they can be best accommodated by the city’s electricity grid.

We have also invested £3 million to modernise the network in Birkenhead, to further support the uptake of low-carbon technologies. The investment project involves removing overhead lines and replacing them with new modern underground cables between Birkenhead and Prenton grid substations.

This will play a vital part in future-proofing the electricity distribution network for the area and delivering increased capacity to support increasing demand for green electricity. The work will benefit local communities by reinforcing electricity supplies for 98,000 homes and businesses connected to the network, as well as facilitating future electricity needs for decades to come.

Liam O’Sullivan, our SP Manweb Licence Director, said: “We’re extremely proud to be powering Liverpool City Region to help facilitate cleaner, greener aspirations and we’re investing more than £34 million to help the local community transition to a decarbonised future.

“One of Liverpool City Region’s biggest asset is its people, and it is an honour to be sponsoring the Liverpool Echo Awards for the fourth year running. The awards are just another example of how we’re investing in the region and we’re so proud to be doing our bit to celebrate what a brilliant place this is. I look forward to attending the awards event soon where we can celebrate and recognise our local heroes.”

Hear more from Tom Walsh, our District General Manager from Merseyside, on the difference we're making to help people across Liverpool live greener lives: Tom Walsh on SP Energy Networks' activities in Liverpool.


Celebrity farmer and TV presenter, Adam Henson, has shared his safety tips to help keep agricultural workers safe whilst at work.

Adam has partnered with us to front a series of safety videos aimed at preventing electrical incidents from happening on farmland.

The latest Fatal Injuries in Agriculture report, issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at the start of Farm Safety Week (18-22 July), reveals that 25 people were killed on farms in England, Scotland, and Wales in the past year.

Agriculture also has the worst rate of worker fatal injury per 100,000 of the main industrial sectors: 21 times higher than the all-industry rate.

With over 30 years’ of experience working as a farmer, Adam has shared his top tips to address safety issues that can be found on farms across the UK, ranging from safely passing under overhead powerlines whilst operating machinery to what to do if a powerline falls on your land.

Adam, who is also Director at Cotswold Farm Park, said: “I’m all too aware of the potential dangers of working on farmland. From not being aware of how big machinery is to not properly planning out your farm routes, these are real threats which can lead to injury and even death.

“Such accidents can be prevented, which is why I’m proud to be working with SP Energy Networks to share vital safety top tips to help keep my fellow farmers safe”.

Adam’s top tips are:

Have the national 105 electrical emergency helpline number close to hand. If anyone is injured, please call 999 for medical attention.

Look out! Look up! When working on farmland near overhead powerlines, be mindful of machinery and its size as it passes underneath – particularly if working with new machinery, extendable machinery, and bigger equipment.

Plan ahead: carefully plan your routes, including access points and don’t stack or store items directly under overhead lines. Make sure to review both the maximum heights of your vehicles and the heights of the power lines on your land.

Map it out: mark up a farm map with routes, operating voltages and approximate heights of overhead power lines running across your land, near boundaries and access routes to fields. If you don’t have a map of your farm, contact SP Energy Networks for a network plan. Any underground cable routes in or around your land should also be recorded. You can always get in touch with SP Energy Networks if you’re unsure about the equipment on and nearby your land.

Beware of fallen powerlines: In the event of a powerline falling on your land, we would advise taking extreme caution. Powerlines can remain live, even if they appear unaffected, so it’s essential to keep people and livestock away, then contact the electricity network operator via the 24/7 electrical emergency hotline number, 105. If anyone is injured, or the incident occurs in a populated area, please call 999 for medical attention.

Tell others about potential hazards: Ensure that you inform staff, contractors, and delivery drivers of potential electrical hazards on the farmland before any work begins.

Leaping Strides: If your vehicle encounters an overhead powerline, do not exit the cab until given confirmation by the electricity network operator that it is safe to do so. If the machine is inoperable and there is a risk of an immediate hazard to you and you need to exit, you must jump clear, do not step down. Then make leaping strides so that one foot is always off the ground until you are at least 5 metres away.

Derek Bell, Health & Safety Director at SP Energy Networks, said: “Farm safety should always be a priority and we hope the safety advice Adam shares in these videos helps raise awareness of the simple but important ways agricultural workers can stay safe whilst working on farmland.

SP Energy Networks invests £5million to accelerate Net Zero Transition in vulnerable communities across Scotland

We have announced £5 million funding to help ensure vulnerable communities, who are facing barriers in taking part in the net zero transition, aren’t left behind on Scotland’s journey to achieving net zero emissions by 2045.

The fund will provide guidance and support to charities and community organisations to improve and decarbonise heating systems, electrify transport, increase energy efficiency, and upskill communities.

Working with Energy Saving Trust, the fund will initially deliver upskilling workshops and training before helping selected projects to develop and fund their net zero plans. Eligible groups include community organisations, charities and other not-for-profit organisations that have aspirations to become cleaner and greener.

The fund is now open and looking for eligible charities and community organisations to express interest in receiving tailored support to develop their net zero plans and low-carbon project ideas. Expressions of interest can be made here.

The fund will initially deliver general knowledge-sharing sessions to help communities develop their net zero ideas and plans. Following these sessions, the fund will focus on helping community organisations, charities and other not-for-profit organisations develop their net zero aspirations and further develop their plans into tangible projects.

Vicky Kelsall, Chief Executive of SP Energy Networks, said: “The race to net zero is speeding up and we’re here to help communities take action now. On the road to achieving net zero in Scotland by 2045, we need to see significant changes by 2030 which means towns and cities across Scotland will need to reduce carbon emissions across heating and transport while investing in energy efficiency and knowledge building.

“The Net Zero Fund will support vulnerable communities to make proactive change to reduce their impact on the environment. It will focus on areas that are often overlooked but have the potential to unlock net zero and deliver tangible social, environmental and economic benefits.”

Net Zero & Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The scale and pace of action required to make decarbonise our energy system as part of our net zero journey is significant, and also presents a fantastic opportunity to unlock cleaner, greener and cheaper energy for communities up and down the country.

"It is vital that this transformation happens in a way that is just and fair for everyone and leaves no-one behind. It is also important that we all work together to achieve it. This is why I welcome the launch of SP Energy Network’s Net Zero Fund, which will play an important role in providing advice and support to communities to help ensure a cleaner and greener future for everyone.”

Laura McGadie, Group Head of Energy, Energy Saving Trust said: “We’re delighted to be the delivery partners for SP Energy Networks’ innovative Net Zero Fund. This support will provide communities in Central and Southern Scotland with the tools and knowledge they need to realise their net zero ambitions. It will therefore also play an integral role in ensuring Scotland achieves its national target of net zero carbon emissions by 2045”.

The new fund has been established through SP Transmission, a subsidiary of SP Energy Networks, responsible for transmitting high-voltage electricity from power stations and windfarms to the low-voltage network across Central and Southern Scotland.

The fund will target communities located near Transmission network investment projects which will be key to building a resilient network to deliver a net zero future.

For more information about the Net Zero Fund click here (opens in a new window).

We are upgrading our network at Knutsford Services to support greener journeys

Work is starting this month to install new electricity cables to support the roll out of rapid electric vehicle charging at Knutsford services.

Improving access to EV charging will help electrical and hybrid vehicle owners have easier journeys and encourage more people to make the change to electrical vehicles. This is an important step in meeting Net Zero North West’s goal to be the UK’s first net zero region by 2040.

The new cables we are installing have been funded by Ofgem’s Green Recovery Investment vehicle. This will see more than £60m invested in our distribution networks across England, Scotland and Wales to accelerate the UK’s transition to Net Zero and support a green economic recovery from Covid-19.

To install the new underground cables, we will be carrying out roadworks in parts of Knutsford. To minimise disruption to residents and shoppers, the work will be completed in sections. Temporary traffic lights will be in place during various stages of the work.

We are expecting to start this work on Monday 15 August. As the project progresses, it will involve some temporary road closures on Lilac Avenue, Acacia Avenue, Tabley Grove, Stanley Road, Gaskell Avenue, Bexton Road, Toft Road and Adams Hill.

Diversions will be put in place and clearly signposted and access to homes and businesses will be maintained at all times during the closures. All the work being undertaken, along with the associated traffic management plans, has been approved by Cheshire East Council.

Liam O’Sullivan, our SP Manweb Licence Director, said: “We are committed to completing this vital upgrade work with as minimal disruption for customers as possible. We’d like to thank residents in advance for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“Our work is crucial in creating new electrical capacity to support the installation of rapid EV chargers. As more and more people move to electric and hybrid vehicles, easy access to charging facilities will be increasingly important. We’re pleased to be making a positive contribution in helping the region achieve its goals for net zero and low carbon travel.”

People can see what traffic disruption and other road events are happening in their area here (opens in a new window).

Kind regards,

Stakeholder & Community Engagement Team

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