Western Power Distribution is providing a £700,000 boost to net zero plans in South Wales by installing a second transformer at its existing primary substation near Chepstow.
The Newhouse transformer will increase network capacity to meet growing demand and support the development of infrastructure options such as road, rail, water and gas, as well as electric vehicle charging centers (VE) and zero net houses and streets.
Funding for the work comes from the Green Recovery Project, which has seen Western Power Distribution (WPD) work alongside regulator Ofgem and the broader electricity industry to unlock early investment in distribution networks to support the transition to net zero.
As part of the scheme, WPD, which looks after the electricity grid in the Midlands, South West England and South Wales, is investing an additional £60m into its grid between 2021 and 2023.
This investment provides a foundation for the emerging technologies needed for a net zero future while facilitating the development of green energy and green jobs.
At the end of 2021, there were 5,337 EV chargers connected to WPD’s network in South Wales and 5,655 heat pumps.
WPD, co-lead sponsor of the National Environmental Awards, predicts that by the end of 2026, 60,068 EV chargers will be connected with 78,663 heat pumps.
By the end of 2030, the numbers will have grown to 206,342 EV chargers and 186,634 heat pumps.
WPD’s Green Recovery Project Manager, Mark Mears, said: “As well as replacing the transformer, we will replace the switchgear and undertake minimal cabling work to enable the new connection.
“This will benefit more than 2,000 customers in the region by increasing demand capacity and generation capacity by 7 MW each, to enable smarter grids and further secure their supply.”
The project is expected to be completed in December 2022.