ScottishPower has invested £1.4 million to upgrade the electricity network between Hawick and Morebattle in the Scottish Borders.
This is an accelerated investment programme to upgrade the existing rural network which has been subject to some severe ice and wind storms in recent years causing disruption to the supplies.
The new improvements in the Borders include installing lines with a much heavier specification to enable them to withstand the high winds and ice which southern Scotland suffers from.
The work, on the Hawick and Morebattle section began in November 2007, and is the latest stage of the programme replacing the old tower line, with 297 wooden poles across a 31km stretch.
In the process the ScottishPower crew also managed to protect a site of significant archaeological importance.
The site at Midshiels has an Iron Age enclosure that is reportedly 4,000 years old.
Charlie Dodds, Project Engineer, ScottishPower said:
“We were setting out where the next poles were to be positioned and when arriving the next day there was a note on one of our machines from a local historian, Mr Alan Brydon, who pointed out that the pole was going to be in the middle of this ancient site.
“We did everything we could to find a solution and in the end we repositioned the overhead power lines and didn’t need to disturb the site at all.”
The last of the old tower lines will be replaced over the next few months and will be fully commissioned by the summer.
“The upgrade is going to be of real benefit to the people who live in this area as it will help to alleviate the problems caused by the weather, which has proved difficult for the network in the past.”
Media information: Jane Holmes 0141 636 4557