Completing in early 2025, we’re investing £7.7 million in upgrading the Fort Widley to Fareham underground electricity infrastructure. Once completed, the new cables will boost the capacity and resilience of the electricity network for some 120,000 local homes and businesses, ready to meet the goals of a net zero future.

SSEN’s £7.7 million investment in the Fort Widley area will see the replacement of 2.2km of cable with modern and more efficient underground cables. This upgraded infrastructure will connect to the transmission tower in Paulsgrove to boost the resilience and capacity of the underground cable network in the area.

What work is being delivered?

We’re replacing two 132kV fluid filled cable circuits which are reaching the end of their operational life. During this replacement, some horizontal directional drilling will be required to avoid disrupting an area of environmental sensitivity. We will also remove the oil fluid filling of the old cables to help minimise any future impact on the environment.

Less disruption for local communities

While boosting and improving the network itself, the route of the replacement cable will be more direct - mainly through arable land - reducing the potential impact of the works on the local community during construction and any future maintenance. This new route will also strengthen the area’s power supply to cope with severe weather events.

Conserving archaeology and heritage

Ahead of the main works, SSEN completed a detailed assessment to establish whether construction of the proposed project might affect the local environment – this included archaeological, ecological and hydrological studies, and consultation with key stakeholders such as Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire County Council and Natural England.

It was apparent from these assessments that the local landscape is one of high archaeological and historic interest and for this reason construction of the project has been closely supervised by archaeologists from ADAS. It was during this supervision that the team unearthed a long-forgotten and uncharted parish boundary marker stone, zig-zag defence trenches from World War II, and a penny made in the 1500s.

Find out more about the artefacts that have been carefull uncovered and preserved.

Caring for the environment

We have taken care to ensure we minimise disruption to the natural environment, while also building a more robust and flexible electricity network for decades to come. Once completed, the new infrastructure will help support greater uptake of low carbon technologies, ready to meet our net zero goals through a network fit for the future. Discover more on our Smarter Electricity page.

Power supply during construction

While there are no Planned Supply Interruptions (PSI) for the duration of these works, a section of the project may require some temporary access restrictions at a future date, to enable safe working. Any potential restrictions will be communicated to customers well in advance.

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