Midland power

Central Networks has completed the first phase of a £60m project to improve the reliability of the power supply to east Birmingham.


Central Networks, the electricity distribution company for central England, has completed the first phase of a £60m project to improve the reliability of the power supply to east Birmingham.


More than 80,000 customers will benefit directly from improvement works to the power network in the Kitts Green area, with the work being one of the largest projects Central Networks has ever undertaken.


It also strengthens the overall reliability of neighbouring sections of the network, in particular Sparkbrook, which has almost 30,000 connected customers.


The overall project will take nine years to complete but the first phase has now been finished.


Phase one involved installing two 132,000V underground cables in the east Birmingham area, running to 17km in total, as well as building a new substation in the Kitts Green area and reinforcing the existing Sparkbrook substation.


The second phase of the project will run into 2011 and will see a third 132,000V cable being installed from Lea Marston substation to the new Kitts Green substation, and a high-voltage substation that will replace the existing Boughton Road substation.


The third phase, a new substation in the Chelmsley Wood area, is still in the planning process and is expected to begin in 2013.


Central Networks brings power to five million customers across central England through 133,000km of underground and overhead cables and via almost 94,000 substations.