ELECTRICITY supplies in Bridgwater, Shepton Mallet and beyond are set to get greener thanks to a major investment.

Western Power Distribution (WPD) is investing an extra £4 million into the development of its electricity network that will help to support the connection of more electric vehicle chargers and renewable generation over the next two years.

The firm says the investment will not only play a critical role in driving a green recovery that will benefit local jobs and the economy, but will provide key network upgrades to support the emerging technologies needed for a Net Zero future.

Graham Halladay, WPD’s Operations Director, commented: “The investment is another signal of our determination to support the country’s Net Zero ambitions.

"During the pandemic, we have continued to innovate and find ways of lowering carbon footprint, and we will now play a pivotal role in driving a green recovery.

"Our wide-ranging projects will help with some of our biggest Net Zero challenges, including electric vehicle range anxiety, battery storage and the decarbonisation of our heating systems.

"The time is now to cut emissions and ensure the clean and sustainable future of generations to come and we are proud and delighted to play a vital role in this.”

The company, which looks after the electricity network across Somerset, will upgrade and build new electrical infrastructure, which will increase the capacity of electricity by around 90 megawatts of demand and 60 megawatts of generation.

This is equivalent to being able to connect more than 55,000 home electric vehicle chargers or 24,000 heat pumps, as well as connecting 12 large solar farms.

The investment will also support the future electricity needs in the local areas as our reliance on electricity to heat our homes and travel increases, WPD said, and it expects that up to 1.5million electric vehicles and 600,000 heat pumps will be used to keep us moving and heat homes by 2028.

Areas in Somerset that will see the new investment includes Bridgwater, Shepton Mallet and Winscombe.

More information on WPD’s green recovery investments can be found at www.westernpower.co.uk/green-recovery.