Challenges of getting power to a remote site

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At Rock Power Connections, we are receiving an increasing number of requests for electrical supplies to locations that are further from the existing electricity network.

Whereas a few years back, this tended to be lower loads for a residential barn conversion or a new supply to a farm building, we are now experiencing much higher load requests covering a whole range of uses – new business parks, country hotel complexes, caravan sites or luxury home developments.

Regardless of the size of the load, the challenges remain the same.

This is a question we are frequently asked. Usually quickly followed by “how much will it cost?”.

Ultimately, the answer will be determined by whether there is any spare capacity in the area and how far the local network is from your site.

At Rock Power Connections, we can investigate both of these points for you using the local Distribution Network Operator’s plans of their network. It can give a very quick indication of just how close the local network is. Couple this with a swift ballpark calculation and we can give you a rough figure for how much and the likely cable route required.

Sometimes this initial investigation can yield good news. Whilst an overhead Low Voltage line might be very visible, you may not realise there is an underground High Voltage cable in the vicinity providing a closer point of supply.

What challenges am I likely to face?

When a longer cable run is required, the biggest challenge can be what lies between the distribution network and your site.

  • It is always much easier to avoid third party land as there will need to be a legal agreement in place with each landowner. If you can plan a route which sticks to the public highway, this may be a simpler installation and more cost effective once you have considered the legal fees.
  • There may be other obstacles on longer cable routes which are not automatically considered; streams, railway lines or sharp changes in elevation that need to be navigated.
  • Where the point of connection is onto the overhead distribution network, this may require an extension of the network and additional poles being installed.

What is the best way to avoid any obstacles?

It is important to take careful consideration of what load you do require.

  • For example, if your load has been overestimated, this could be the difference between the capacity being available much closer at a lower cost. Sometimes the design engineer at the Distribution Network Operator is willing to state how much load is available on a specific network. The Rock Power Connections team would happily make the enquiry for you.
  • If you have future development plans, ensure you install the switchgear and cables to allow for this. This can be reflected in your Point of Connection application to reserve the capacity for your next phase of development.
    Do some initial research before applying to the Distribution Network Operator.
  • For example, us researching the local network map may yield different connection options.
    Double check your connection offer from the Distribution Network Operator.
  • If they are keen to get additional load into an area, they may oversize your switchgear and provide outgoing LV cables to reinforce the local LV network. This will be at your cost, but not to your benefit.

Rock Power Connections is a Mitie Group plc Company. All Rights Reserved.