Lancaster power hub battered by Storm Desmond in 2015 gets £5.7m revamp

A multimillion-pound project to improve flood defences and avoid power cuts in Lancaster has been completed.

By Nick Lakin
Monday, 18th November 2019, 10:01 am
The electricity substation in Caton Road has been raised off the ground
The electricity substation in Caton Road has been raised off the ground

Electricity North West, the region’s power network operator, finished the £5.7m job at its substation in Caton Road earlier this month.

Substantial work has been carried out at the site including the replacement and improvement of various electrical equipment.

Engineers have also raised parts of the substation on to higher platforms.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The project took place following the mass floods that hit Lancaster in December 2015 during Storm Desmond, which caused the River Lune to burst its banks, and flood homes and businesses in many parts of the city.

Electricity North West said at the time that flood defences upgraded in 2010 to cope with a “one-in-a-100 years flood” were breached, leaving around 55,000 properties in the Lancaster area without power for up to three days.

The company said it hopes the improvements will help protect power supplies against potential floods in the future.

Dan Garner, transmission manager at Electricity North West, said: “Storm Desmond was a devastating time for the people of Lancaster, Morecambe and the surrounding area.

“It caused mass disruption to the city and huge amounts of damage to our electricity network.

“Following the incident, we have worked extremely hard to improve the Caton Road substation site.

“The investment and the upgrades will help ensure the network is protected for many years to come.”

As well as replacing electrical equipment, Electricity North West engineers have also raised parts of the substation on to higher platforms as well as moving equipment into new raised containerised buildings.

Earlier this year, Electricity North West completed a £2m project which saw 7km of underground cables replaced which power Lancaster, Morecambe and the surrounding areas.