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Energy / SSEN plans helicopter patrols to check condition of power lines

Meanwhile compensation cheques will be delivered from 14 January to all eligible customers who were off supply for 48 hours or more

Stock photo supplied by SSEN Distribution.

SSEN Distribution will be carrying out helicopter inspections of its lines and poles in Shetland early next week following December’s weather disruption which left thousands without power.

The line patrols – taking place from 9 to 11 January – will focus on the north and west of Lerwick, as well as the outer isles, and ensure that the network in these areas is all in good condition.

Additional SSEN teams will also be working with their Lerwick-based colleagues over the coming weeks, supporting the essential programme of works on the local infrastructure.

As these line patrols are being carried out specifically to inspect and assess the condition of the overhead network, if any urgent repairs are identified, it may be necessary to turn the power off to some properties for a short time to allow the work to be carried out safely.

If this is the case, all customers on that section of the network will be receive a call from SSEN’s customer contact centre ahead of the work starting.

Meanwhile SSEN Distribution has also confirmed that compensation cheques will be delivered from 14 January to all eligible customers who were off supply for 48 hours or over. This follows a process to verify all fault information.

Mark Macdonald, SSEN distribution’s head of operations for the North East and Shetland, said: “In the immediate aftermath of December’s snow storm, the worst in 30 years, our teams completed the replacement or realignment of over 100 poles and restrung 133 spans of power line – representing over 10km of the Shetland overhead network.

“Since power was restored to all our customers on 18 December, our network has been operating as normal and, as part of our post-storm works, we are inspecting every part of our infrastructure to check for any remedial damage. The safest and most time-effective way to do this is by helicopter.

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“Over the next few weeks residents may also notice an increase in the number of our vans and teams at work in parts of the island, particularly on the west side – as we deploy additional lines teams to support our local colleagues as they work on long-term repairs to parts of the network that were damaged in December.

“I’d like to reassure customers that their network supply will remain resilient as we carry out these essential works and, if urgent repairs are required, we will do all we can to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum and customers are notified in advance.”

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