• SP Energy Networks unlocks £61.7 million of funding for green projects to deliver Net Zero
  • The investment in 40 projects over the next eighteen months will help achieve a green economic recovery
  • Work is part of massive change needed to ready the grid for huge increase in demand as electrification of heat and transport gathers pace
  • Projects will upgrade parts of the network to provide additional electrical capacity in areas where we are expecting growth in low carbon technologies

SP Energy Networks has unlocked £61.7 million of fresh funding to invest in 40 green energy projects.

The projects will provide additional electrical capacity in areas where SP Energy Networks is expecting electricity demand to grow, delivering the network infrastructure required to support the UK’s low carbon future and helping to accelerate a green economic recovery.

The network infrastructure projects, to be delivered over the next eighteen months, will provide the capacity for the connection of a host of low carbon technologies (LCTs) such as electric vehicles (EVs) and heat pumps.

These technologies will help UK households transform their energy use as they switch to electric options from a current reliance on gas and fossil fuels to power transport and heat. And, on the journey to Net Zero, more and more of this electricity will come from renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks, said: “To tackle climate change we’re electrifying transport, decarbonising heating and buildings and connecting more wind and solar energy generation than ever before. Our network must be ready to support these changes and set the foundations for a Net Zero future.

“We have ambitious plans to revolutionise the distribution network between 2023 and 2028 – we’re going to reinforce or replace hundreds of miles of cables, upgrade more than 800 substations and bring new technologies online to help us manage the increased energy flowing through our grid.

“The projects we have announced today are welcome, but they only represent the tip of the iceberg for our energy networks. Make no mistake, this is an infrastructure project to rival anything this country has delivered in recent memory.”

The investment announced today will create over 650MW of electrical capacity across our networks. We expect this to enable around 500 rapid or ultra-rapid vehicle chargers, 4,000 domestic heat pumps as well as numerous other significant connections. Examples include:

  • Super-fast electric vehicle charging infrastructure in nine service stations along the M56, M6, M62, M74 and M8 motorways.
  • The installation of eight brand new substations including the construction of a new £6m substation in the city centre of Glasgow to create a lasting COP26 legacy by enabling future green developments and the connection of LCTs into the grid
  • In North West England, two new substations will support the prestigious Runcorn Station Quarter regeneration development by enabling the connection of EV charging infrastructure.
  • And in North Wales, we are investing in a project to remove a constraint that will enable a community hydro facility, giving domestic energy customers in the area the opportunity to use locally produced renewable energy.

Each project has been selected for the contribution it will make towards driving a green economic recovery, achieving Net Zero and delivering a resilient and reliable energy network that will work for energy consumers now and well into the future.

Frank Mitchell said: “These projects were selected because they are shovel-ready, can be delivered at speed and will help our communities to take important steps forward on their journey to Net Zero.

“In six months, Glasgow will host the most important climate summit in years, COP26. At the forefront of discussions will be how everyone can accelerate climate action and this funding help to speed up our own work to deliver a network that can unlock Net Zero for the UK and the communities we serve.”

The 40 projects will be delivered across SP Energy Networks distribution area, which provides energy to more than 3.5 million homes and businesses across Central and Southern Scotland and Cheshire, Merseyside and North and Mid Wales.

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