POWER supplies have been strengthened and security tightened at key electricity substations that supply energy to 50,000 homes.
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has pumped in more than £10m into modernising its power infrastructure supplying Portsmouth homes.
The energy firm’s revamp comes months after vandals attempted to raid a key substation, causing a blackout that affected more than 40,000 people.
Improvements include replacement transformers, switchgears and cables across Portsmouth, while extra work to beef up the network has been carried out at the substation near Fort Widley.
The work means if a major power cut does happen again, SSEN will be able to redirect energy to people quicker than ever before.
Stuart Hogarth, operations director for SSEN’s south region, said: ‘We are committed to do all we can to keep the lights on for our customers 24/7, and this upgrade project, which has already seen over £10m invested, is a massive boost to the reliability and robustness of the network for our customers in Portsmouth.’
Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP, visited the Fort Widley substation to inspect the work and was confident the improvements would help drive down the number of power cuts.
She is now urging vulnerable people to sign up to a scheme that prioritises the elderly, disabled and sick in the event of a blackout.
Ms Mordaunt added: ‘A power cut is a huge inconvenience and horrible for anyone it happens to but particularly to groups of vulnerable people it could be very dangerous indeed.
‘We want to ensure that everyone who needs that extra help, if something really serious happens, are registered so we know where you are. It will make you so much more resilient to know that there’s someone out there looking out for you.’
For details on the scheme, call 0800 294 3259 or see ssen.co.uk/priorityservices