As millions of people across the globe get ready to make their minds up and pick the winner of Eurovision 2023, we've been working throughout Liverpool to ensure that love can shine a light and power keeps flowing to all our friends as the city hosts the world’s largest live music event this week.
Celebrating the unveiling of the Paradise Street mural are representatives from SP Energy Networks, MerseyMade, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool BID company, artists who created the mural, and musicians who feature on the mural, including Mike McCartney – brother of former Beatle, Paul – whose band Scaffold appear on the artwork.
We keep the electricity flowing and the lights on for more than 500,000 customers across 234,000 homes and 18,000 businesses in Liverpool* through our network of thousands of kilometres of underground cables, hundreds of kilometres of overhead lines, and thousands of substations in the city.
A huge amount of work has been undertaken in the weeks and months leading up to Eurovision to ensure these assets are in fine tune for residents and the tens of thousands of performers, artists and visitors who will descend on the city for the musical extravaganza and cultural celebration – the first time it’s been hosted in the UK this century.
Our Eurovision prep includes weeks of inspections of city centre network sites, completing more than 450 maintenance tasks, repairing known network faults in the city centre, and putting extra resources in place. An additional 50 low voltage (LV) substation monitors have also been installed in the vicinity of key Eurovision areas, including the M&S Bank Arena, the Fan Zone at Pier Head and the Party Zone in the Baltic area – complementing those already in use.
This advanced technology, monitored from a dedicated LV support room, provides real-time information on how the electricity network is being used, meaning potential faults can be picked up much more easily – and even before they impact customers’ power supplies.
It’s an example of how we're investing in the Merseyside area, with around £200 million of investment planned over the next five years to ensure the continued resilience and sustainability of the local network as low-carbon technology – like electric vehicles and heat pumps – becomes an ever-increasing part of our everyday lives.
Vicky Gawith, MerseyMade; Mike McCartney – brother of former Beatle, Paul – whose band Scaffold appear on the artwork; and Liam O’Sullivan SP Manweb Licence Director for SP Energy Networks
Our Paradise Street substation in Liverpool city centre will be an important part of that. Almost £1 million will be invested by 2028 to upgrade the buildings and key electricity infrastructure equipment at the site, directly benefiting the 15,000 homes and businesses it supplies.
The site is currently enjoying a temporary makeover thanks to a unique mural celebrating the Eurovision theme of ‘United by Music’ and Liverpool’s musical legacy. Designed by Liverpool and Ukrainian artists working with creative hub MerseyMade, who came up with the idea, the striking artwork is now on display outside the substation.
Liam O’Sullivan, SP Energy Networks Licence Director for the region, said: “We work round the clock every day of the year to ensure we keep the lights on and electricity flowing for customers across our network. In preparation for Eurovision coming to Liverpool, we’ve put a comprehensive plan in place to ensure our network performance continues to be worthy of ‘douze points’!
“This includes an enhanced inspection and maintenance programme, ensuring we have additional teams and equipment in place in case they’re needed and, of course, making the most of the latest technology to revolutionise the way we identify and repair any potential problems on the network.
“That ability to pre-empt and intercept any issues before they have an impact on customers is a real game-changer for the industry and one that will benefit the city long after Eurovision has left town. It’s a great example of how we’re investing in our network and the Merseyside region to ensure our network continues to deliver as we move towards a net zero future.
“We’re well versed in supporting major events and, as a proud part of the Merseyside community, I have no doubt the city and the people of Liverpool – powered by SP Energy Networks – will put on a Eurovision celebration like no other and ensure that, right across the globe, we’re all united in music.”
SPEN’s Ryan Corke, Dylan Oliver, Matt Jones with Marie Hill from EA Technology and SP Manweb Licence Director Liam O’Sullivan.
The LV monitors that have been part of the efforts to ensure the network is ready for Eurovision are produced by engineering production firm, EA Technology. Dave A Roberts, Director, EA Technology, said: “As a Chester based business, we are thrilled to be able to help the power network on our doorstep. We know that the Eurovision Song Contest is a big deal nationally and regionally, and we are delighted to be supporting SP Energy Networks with low voltage monitoring in the form of our VisNet Hubs. With many of our staff from, or with links to Liverpool, we are proud to be helping with a solution designed and manufactured here in the UK, for the good of all the visitors to the city.”
*Data from Liverpool City Council website