SCOTTISH and Southern Electricity Networks has invested £3 million into a new energy system for people in central southern England that will cut the effects of power blackouts.

The company is planning a further £7.4 million investment in the coming year on an automation system that would see power to customers in the upgraded areas being restored faster, generally in less than three minutes.

Automation also means SSEN’s engineers can investigate the actual fault faster and resolve any network issues while power is still being supplied via alternative circuits.

And it means the need for engineers to travel to the affected section of the network and physically switch power back on is reduced.

Julian Paddock, senior project manager for the scheme, said: “Our engineers at SSEN work every day of the year to safely maintain, upgrade and build the electricity network that powers our customers’ day.

“Along with existing tried and tested methods, SSEN is increasingly investing in innovative technologies, such as automation, to improve the resilience of supplies and speed up restoration of our customers.”