SSEN scores a hat-trick at inaugural Network Awards

Teams from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) were crowned triple winners last night, picking up awards for Health and Safety, Stakeholder Engagement and Engineering Project Delivery at the inaugural Network Awards 2019 in Birmingham.

SSEN fought off competition from across the electricity and gas networks sectors to win the Stakeholder Engagement Initiative of the Year award for its Solent Achieving Value from Efficiency (SAVE) project, the Health and Safety Initiative of the Year award for its Influencing Behaviours training programme, and the Engineering Project of the Year award for the £1bn Caithness-Moray transmission link.

Representatives from each of the projects were in Birmingham last night for the awards ceremony, organised by Networks Magazine.   Other SSEN nominees included the Dorenell Wind Farm Connection in Transmission, the Warmworks partnership to support vulnerable customers and SSEN’s Inclusive Service Panels.

Colin Nicol, Managing Director of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, said:

“We are delighted to pick up three Network Awards that recognise our focus on the health and safety of our employees and contract partners, our progress in exploring innovation to support a smarter, flexible energy system and the sector-leading engineering and project delivery involved in completing the Caithness-Moray transmission link.

“A large part of the success of these initiatives is down to the hard work of the people involved. I’d like to thank all nominated teams for their commitment in bringing these innovative and important projects to fruition and I hope they now take every pride in their achievement.”

Engineering Project of the Year – Caithness-Moray Transmission Link

The £1.1bn Caithness-Moray transmission link, completed and energised in January this year represents the most significant investment in the north of Scotland electricity transmission system since the 1950s.  The link uses HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) technology to transmit power through a 113km subsea cable beneath the Moray Firth between new converter stations at Spittal in Caithness and Blackhillock in Moray, unlocking 1200MW of renewable generation potential from across the north of Scotland, supporting the transition to a low carbon economy.

By burying the cable beneath the seabed, the project greatly reduces its visual impact compared to that a conventional overhead transmission solution would present.  It also takes advantage of the greater efficiency HVDC technology provides when transporting energy over long distances, particularly subsea.  This is the first time HVDC technology has been installed in the north of Scotland and is also the first multi terminal HVDC system anywhere on the GB transmission system.

Stakeholder Engagement Initiative of the Year - SAVE

Run over a five year period in 4,000 homes in Solent area, the SAVE project was pioneered by SSEN and partnered by the University of Southampton, DNV GL and Neighbourhood Economics (NEL). The scheme explored and released the potential for domestic customers to actively participate in managing electricity networks by using a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) to test energy efficient LED lighting, and provide education and price signals during three distinct ‘trial windows’. 

The innovative test and control trial regime enabled SSEN to identify a blueprint for building closer relationships with customers and local stakeholder organisations, who were then empowered to better control their electricity consumption and, in turn, unlock financial and social benefits, as well as reducing their carbon footprint. The learning from this project is already being applied to SSEN's new Social Constraint Managed Zone (SCMZ) initiative in a number of locations across the network.

Health and Safety Initiative of the Year - Influencing Behaviours programme

The introduction of SSEN’s safety licence, ‘If it’s not safe, we don’t do it’ and the rollout of the ‘Influencing Behaviours’ training programme with behavioural science partner Karrdale was recognised for its exceptional commitment to all-round health and safety going beyond statutory requirements. Intended to be more than just a slogan, SSEN’s safety licence gives individuals at all levels the empowerment and authority to stop a job or activity if they are concerned for their own personal safety and that of others, providing a direct message that safety always comes first to make sure everyone goes home safe at the end of the working day.

The ‘Influencing Behaviours’ programme was delivered to more than 4,600 employees and contract partners at 30 different locations across SSEN’s network areas north and south, challenging delegates to think differently about their own beliefs and behaviours, promoting the importance of interdependency and promoting a positive safety culture across the organisation.

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