Birkenhead Substation SP Energy Networks p SP Energy Networks

The improved Birkenhead substation can power more than 160,000 homes and businesses. Credit: via SP Energy Networks

Wirral gets £21m energy boost

SP Energy Networks has completed work to modernise its Birkenhead grid substation, a project that began in 2017.

Dating back to the 1960s, Birkenhead grid substation needed an upgrade in order to provide a reliable electricity supply capable of handling increased demand, according to SP Energy.

The £21m project saw the substation receive infrastructure improvements that will aid it in providing power for more than 160,000 homes and businesses across Wirral.

Originally set to complete in 2020, delays related to the Covid-19 pandemic meant that work on getting the substation fully operational was only completed last year. Demolition works of the former compound site finished this year, officially cementing the conclusion of the five-year project.

SP Energy said that the upgrading of the substation will play a role in enabling sustainable technologies, such as air source heat pumps and electric vehicles.

“We’re committed to achieving Wirral’s Net Zero status by 2041, and this project represents another major milestone in this journey,” said Mark Sobczak, 132kv general manager at SP Energy.

“This project improves network resilience for 162,000 homes and businesses in the area and ensures that Wirral is at the forefront of a cleaner, greener future.”

Cllr Tony Jones, chair of the economy, regeneration, and development committee at Wirral Council echoed Sobczak’s words.

“This substantial investment, located in the heart of Birkenhead, marks a major step in the modernisation of our local community’s infrastructure,” Jones said.

“It will ensure that homes, families, and businesses across our region are reliably supplied with electricity, and will safeguard both our transition to newer, green technologies and our ability to expand as a community coming into the future.”

Earlier this year, SP Energy spent £3m to replace overhead powerlines with underground cables in the Birkenhead. In total, the electricity company installed 800 metres of the 132,000 volt underground cables.

Over in Liverpool, SP Energy is working with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Homes England to install an electricity substation at the Festival Gardens site.

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