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  • Isle of Wight

    To ensure a continuing reliable supply of electricity to the Isle of Wight, we have replaced the subsea cable between the island and the mainland.
    Using a specialist submarine cable and installation technology, this essential 12 month project was completed ahead of schedule in September 2014.
    Image of cable in storage
  • About the Isle of Wight project

    September 2014

    The £13m project, originally planned to be powered-up in autumn 2014, was 'switched on' early and is now operational due to the hard work and dedication from everyone involved.

    This new high voltage subsea link between Thorness Bay and Lepe will make the electricity supply on the island more robust and resilient.

    Southern Electric Power Distribution’s Project Manager, Chris Smith, explains what the new cable will mean for people living and working on the Isle of Wight: “Keeping the lights on safely is our number one priority and this new replacement cable, which is buried below the seabed and away from danger, means the electricity supply it is much more robust and reliable.

    “This new replacement cable, along with two other cables, also means that whenever we have to carry out maintenance on one of the circuits we will always have two other resilient cables to rely on as essential back up.

    “I’d like to thank the local communities for their patience and understanding as we carried out the essential work. We’d originally anticipated having the work all completed in the autumn, and so to have everything in place and the new cable live ahead of schedule is great news for everyone involved.”

    The project to replace one of the existing cables with a new one using the latest technology, began in 2013 and was carried out in two stages. The first 6-week phase, to install the cable ducting was completed last October. The second phase, to install the specially designed cable itself, started in June this year and the energising process, which saw electricity flowing through the cable, was successfully completed on 12 September. 
    Image of subsea cables being laid

    We have appointed a main contractor, VolkerInfra and have agreed a programme of works with the local authorities on both sides of the water. 

    We aim to keep the local community fully informed about the different stages of our work and we will be writing to local residents and businesses ahead of key sections of the project starting in their area.