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Green light for £18m upgrade to north Shropshire energy network

By Charlotte Bentley | North Shropshire | News | Published:

A new £18 million project to enhance the electricity network in north Shropshire has been given the go-ahead by planning officials.

The Government has given permission for a new overhead line to be built between Oswestry and Wem, providing the north of the county with an enhanced power capacity.

Scottish Power (SP) Energy Networks has said it is investing in the area to increase network resilience and facilitate future growth and development to support de-carbonisation as 28,000 customers make the switch to electric energy.

A new 132,000-volt wooden pole overhead line between Oswestry and Wem will be built, along with an upgrade to the existing substation at Wem.

Bosses say it will boost the network capacity across north Shropshire to support development for new jobs and homes.

Mark Sobczak, head of 132kV programmes at SP Energy Networks, said: "It is essential that we upgrade our network to improve resilience and support major economic developments in the years to come.

"As the country moves towards net zero, we're investing in our network to ensure customers in North Shropshire can smoothly make the switch to an electric lifestyle and be supported by a strong electricity network.

"We've been engaging with the local community at every stage of this process and consulted with hundreds of business owners so it's great to see this collaborative working recognised in the planning committee's decision."

The line will allow the electricity grid to be prepared for future innovations, such as an expected increase in electric heating and electric vehicles and their chargers.

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The SP Energy Networks team have said they engaged with the local community and stakeholders throughout the process by holding meetings and issuing regular newsletters to ensure the plans work for those in the surrounding area.

The construction of the overhead line is set to begin later this year and the project is expected to be completed by winter 2022.

The company added that this aim will be continuously reviewed to follow Government guidelines on covid-19, to protect communities, customers, staff and supply chain partners.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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