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  • East Claydon to Bicester

    132kV Network Reinforcement Scheme

  • Project Background

    The aim of this £24 million project - one of the largest ever undertaken in south east England - is to reinforce the network to provide additional capacity, enhance network capability and increase the security of supply. This upgrade is essential as it will help keep pace with current and future electricity demands.


      This will be achieved by:

      • Installing a new dual 132kV underground circuit from East Claydon to Bicester North
      • Establishing a new 132/33kV and 33/11kV substation to provide supply to existing and future loads
      • Creating two new underground 33kV circuits to supply the existing 33/11kV Bicester substation


      132 power lines

      Why is it required?

      Bicester and the surrounding area have grown rapidly over the last few years and this is expected to continue with the construction of over 10,000 new homes by 2031. The existing electrical infrastructure in this area is almost nearing capacity, so our reinforcement scheme will keep pace with this increase in demand by improving the network that serves residents and businesses in Bicester, Upper Heyford, Cottisford, Arncott, Headington, Yarnton and Witney.


      Project Updates

      20 April 2018

      A major milestone has been reached as part of our multi-million pound project to reinforce the network around Bicester. Despite recent and challenging weather events, our teams have worked tirelessly and the entire 18.6km route from East Claydon to the new grid substation at Bicester North is now ducted, with over 80% of this being cabled and jointed successfully. The contract for the next phase of the project has been awarded and further works to build the resilience of the local electricity infrastructure will commence towards the end of April.  

      29 December 2017

      Major ducting works have now been carried out as part of our £24 million project to reinforce the electricity supplies of homes and businesses in Bicester and the surrounding areas. The groundworks were completed both on schedule and on budget and will now enable cables to be fed through and jointed over the coming winter months.

      Project Manager, James Rooney explains: “Development in and around Bicester means the network bringing power to the area is reaching full capacity, so this project is essential to keep the lights on for local communities for many years to come. 

       "Part of these works involves nearly 20km of cable to be laid underground and includes the construction of crossing points for both the HS2 and East West railway links. With the ducting phase now completed, we’re on the next stage of feeding the cable along these ducts where they will ultimately be connected to the newly-built substation at Bicester North”

      The works which form the largest single investment being undertaken as part of our eight year Business Plan to 2023, are essential to improve the resilience of the infrastructure that supplies areas including Arncott, Bicester, Cottisford, Headington, Upper Heyford, Witney and Yarnton. 

      Flat bed carrying cable

      Multi-million pound Bicester project reaches milestone

      23 October 2017

      Our £24 million project to reinforce the electricity supplies of householders and businesses in Bicester and the surrounding areas has reached a key milestone this month, with over 90% of the route now ducted in readiness for the next phase to install, joint and test the cables from end to end for the new underground cable installation. 
      In one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in central southern England and the largest single investment as part of its eight year Business Plan from 2015 to 2023, we will begin work to expand and improve the network that serves the residents and businesses of Bicester, Upper Heyford, Cottisford, Arncott, Headington, Yarnton, and Witney. 

      James Rooney, Project Manager, explains “Delivery of the 113km of cable required for the entire route will continue until the end of January, this will enable us to start jointing of the first sections of cable in November right through into the spring of 2018 to be ready for connection to the new Bicester North substation”

      As a responsible network operator, our project team is also working closely with the local community as well collaborating with an Archaeologist and tree specialist to ensure works are carried out with sensitivity to the local environment.


      Cables in the ground as part of the project.

      01 June 2017

      Preliminary work has now begun on the £24 million upgrade to reinforce the electrical network around Bicester and the surrounding villages, and boost the resilience of the supply to local residents and businesses.

      Hedge clearance and demarcation fencing have already begun on the cable route, with two public meetings being held at locations along the project route to enable members of the local community to ask questions about the upcoming work and how it might affect them

      Among the items discussed, our teams talked through traffic easing methods and how we will endeavour to minimise the disruption during the project as much as possible.