UK Power Networks – Leicester Square Substation
Invested by UKPN
Project to overhaul London's energy provision
Underneath Leicester Square lies a substation that is critical to powering some of the most iconic destinations in London’s West End. As part of the ED1SON Alliance for UK Power Networks, Clancy was brought in as the principal contractor to make vital upgrades to the substation. The three existing transformers (each weighing 100t) were reaching the end of their life and at risk of failure, and so were replaced by transformers with a SMART monitoring system to allow for efficient network maintenance and management, resulting in less need to shut parts of the iconic square in future.
Very few people realise that below busy Leicester Square is an important substation, even during a pandemic, shutting off part of the square could have had a huge impact for our neighbours. We’ve been working closely with Westminster City Council, LSA and the Heart of London Business Alliance to keep this impact as low as possible.
Clancy hoarded off part of Leicester Square to protect the public and allow for secure access to the substation. Each transformer required an excavation eight metres wide by five metres deep, and a megalift crane to lift the 100-tonne transformers and install their replacements.
The substation is located wholly underground and as such was classified as a confined space. Clancy ensured that all our workforce had the correct accreditation before starting work, and all personnel on site were required to undergo an in-depth UK Power Networks Alliance site induction using virtual reality headsets.
The project required complex stakeholder engagement, so Clancy worked closely with Westminster City Council and the local community to minimise disturbances. We replaced transporters one at a time to ensure power was never completely shut off and moved works forward to November 2020 to enable completion in one continuous stretch during the quieter COVID lockdown period. Interactive recycled plastic panelling was used for the hoarding as part of Clancy and UK Power Networks commitment to environmental sustainability, this could then be re-used in the future and retained Leicester Square’s accessibility and excitement.