Rock Power Connections vs. Volcanic Rock: Engineers rise to the challenge to connect a Grade II list

Nestled deep in Leicestershire’s Charnwood Forest, Roecliffe Hall is a Grade II listed building that dates back to roughly 1800. It stood derelict for many years before its new owner set about transforming it into a private luxury country house. To meet today’s modern energy needs, the major redeveloped residence required an upgraded electricity connection.


Rock Power Connections, a leading Independent Connections Provider, won the contract and took on the challenge. The engineers faced more than they expected though when they started to dig a little deeper – literally.


Rock Power Connection’s multi-skilled engineers installed a new 315kV transformer to increase and secure power to the new home. The transformer was secured onto a plinth and cleverly disguised in a green GRP housing unit, nestled in the woodland coppice. The transformer is connected to the house via new underground cabling, with around 600 meters of trenches and cables needed for the job.


The real challenge began when engineers sought a solution for earthing the new transformer. Standing in around 40 acres of grounds and woodland, the house stands on volcanic rock dating back through 600 million years. The area is famed for the discovery of the earliest known large, complex fossilised species on record and for its unique geology which was formed when material from volcanoes settled in deep waters.


A power supply is usually earthed by inserting copper rods into the ground. But sticking rods into 600 million year old solid rock was not going to be easy an option.


Project Manager, James Pettican, described the solution: “When we first discovered the complex geology of the area we had to literally go back to the drawing board and consult the experts. Through our discussions and my in-depth research, we found an efficient and safe solution which included connecting the earthing system 35 meters away from the transformer site. After much testing, and consulting once again with the specialists, we are confident that our earthing method is safe and secure.”


“Throughout the project we had a great dialogue with our client and kept them fully informed about our proposed course of action. Our unique solution has been verified and approved by professional consultants and passed all the pre-commissioning tests. Personally, I have been on a steep learning curve and have enjoyed the challenge immensely. I’m proud that we have been able to deliver a bespoke engineering solution for our customer, meeting their needs and the extreme challenge of the local environment.”


The new supply will support the ongoing transformation of this historic property and supply the customer with secure power for his remarkable new family home.


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Rock Power Connections is fully-accredited to undertake new and upgraded electricity connections to the grid being an Independent Connections Provider (ICP) who is listed on the National Electricity Registration Scheme (NERS) or Lloyd’s register
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ROCK POWER CONNECTIONS LTD. Unit 5, Buckholt Business Centre, Buckholt Drive, Worcester, WR4 9ND.

Company registered number: 8247808