No doubt villagers were as delighted as us to see that SSEN will have a new transformer for West Challow before Christmas. However, the final solution from SSEN is not what we were told at the beginning of October.
SSEN have now decided to replace the existing pole transformer on Silver Lane with a new, more powerful one. The original transformer was installed in the mid-1960s. While it has performed well over the years, a problem developed with an imbalance in the 3 coloured wires that deliver the electricity around the village. Most new homes were connected to the red wire which meant that nearly half the total electricity demand in the village was coming from the red wire. This was what caused the frequent power cuts we endured last Christmas.
In January and February of this year, SSEN rebalanced the electricity demand across the three wires. At that time, they also rewired the village as part of their longer term solution. Since our last update, SSEN have decided to replace the existing 200 kVA transformer with a new 315 kVA transformer which they have managed to secure on a shorter timescale than first envisaged in October.
All this is good news and means we should have a trouble free Christmas this year! Looking longer term, with West Challow being still a largely oil heated village, the challenge of reducing the UK’s CO2 emissions will result in an increased demand for electricity which will have to be monitored to avoid future power cuts at peak times.
Finally, we would like to thank the villagers for all their support and encouragement throughout this protracted discourse with SSEN.
Jean & Eoin Lees