OCU TV Article – Blackpool 132kV Peel Tower

OCU Group are consistently improving contracting standards for energy transition and utilities; we are always searching to create growth within our people and capabilities.

Our team are currently working at the Peel 132kV substation, situated in Blackpool, after it was identified by our client Electricity North West that the existing infrastructure required replacing. This is understandable due to the switchgear being commissioned back in 1967, and the other two circuit breakers following suit just 8 years later in 1975.

The site acts as a switching station to supply electricity to the surrounding area – Blackpool, Lytham St Annes, Penwortham and Stanah. Altogether, this provides over 70,000 customers with electricity.

The power, worth 132,000 volts, goes into the substation, gets transformed into different voltages, and goes back through distribution power lines. It gets broken down into LV cables, which is then sent out to properties in the area.

Mike O’Farrell, Senior Project Manager, said,

“This substation is managing both the energy and voltage; it then sends it to smaller distribution substations ready to go into people’s homes.

“The team are working with high voltage cables overhead; we recognise the importance of keeping our Health and Safety standards in check at all times.”

The team onsite have found it difficult to work at times, due to the surrounding peatland. Being close to the coastline with a high-water table can make it hard at times to keep the water levels down.

To resolve this situation, the team have been using water pumps, bog mats, and temporary track plates situated around the site. This also makes it a lot safer for the civils gangs working there.

Chris Moss, Site Manager, also added,

“Sitting down with everybody, running through what needs doing and having a good walk through helps to reduce any risks.

“We have probably spent the same amount of time planning this scheme as we will actually doing the job.”

If you are interested in hearing more about the renovation of the site, and the progress made by the team so far, make sure to watch our OCU TV episode: