Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ tree-cutting team will swap their fuel-powered saws, hedge cutters and leaf blowers for rechargeable, electrical equipment over the next 8 weeks as part of a trial that aims to further help SSEN reduce noise and air pollution.
SSEN has an ongoing commitment to minimise disruption, noise and pollution while ensuring the highest levels of safety for both its customers and colleagues as it works to keep the power flowing to the communities it serves.
The new battery-operated equipment will also improve working conditions for its staff and reducing potential disturbance to those living in areas where trees and vegetation are being managed.
Serving over 750,000 homes and businesses across the South East in areas including Hampshire, Portsmouth, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight, SSEN carries out regular tree-cutting – in accordance with nesting times and other environmental factors – to ensure branches and vegetation remain a safe distance away from power lines, thereby reducing the risk of contact with overhead power lines which can result in power cuts.
Throughout 2020, SSEN’s tree-cutting team explored the various fully-electric options available, before settling on a set of equipment that covered their needs and their commitment to decarbonisation.
SSEN’s Performance and Delivery Manager, Jamie Jones was instrumental in setting up the trial and said:
“Much of our tree-cutting activity takes place in rural areas, which are already quiet by nature; by trialling this carefully selected kit in these areas, we will have a comprehensive overview on how it benefits our customers in terms of noise reduction and with the removal of fuel-driven equipment, a reduction in potential air pollution.
“In the event of a power cut, where a tree or branch may have damaged an overhead power line, we can be called out to work during the night, so having significantly quieter kit to carry out these works will result in minimal disruption to those living nearby. There are also safety benefits to our own colleagues through the reduction in noise and vibration of the equipment, and the elimination of working closely with fuel-powered tools.
“This trial of fast-charging tree-cutting equipment, that will be used on a daily basis, will give SSEN a valuable insight into another cleaner, greener way of working that we hope to be able to utilise across our business in central southern England and the north of Scotland.”