Powersystems install cable to power UK’s largest EV charging hub

July 30, 2021

High Voltage Specialist Powersystems, are the principal contractor for the electric works element for the ESO project lead, Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables  project which includes the installation of the 4 miles of 33 kV cables terminating into the 33 kV Cowley substation and ultimately will feed the transformers for EV charging. Pegasus Utility Services have also been appointed to complete the excavation works for cable installation.

Work to install a high-powered underground cable that will deliver electricity to the UK’s largest public electric vehicle charging hub at Redbridge Park & Ride will begin next week.

The cable will help decarbonise transport across Oxford.

Work will begin on Monday 2 August to install the four mile cable, which is an integral part of Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO), a government-backed project showcasing rapid EV charging, battery storage, low carbon heating and smart energy management technologies to cut carbon and improve air quality across Oxford.

The cable will connect National Grid’s Cowley substation to Redbridge Park & Ride, creating the power infrastructure needed to charge lots of electric vehicles quickly at once. The hub – which is expected to open in early 2022 – will provide Oxford residents and businesses with easy access to fast, reliable charging.  A connection point will also be installed at Oxford Bus Company’s Watlington Road depot, ready to support electrification of the city’s bus fleet.

From Cowley substation, the cable will travel up Watlington Road (B480) before joining the Eastern By-Pass where it will travel along the cycleway from Garsington Road roundabout to Long Lane. It will then travel along the residential streets of Long Lane and Newman Road before re-joining the cycleway at the A4158. It will continue along the Eastern bypass via the cycleway to Redbridge Park and Ride.

Sales of EVs in Oxfordshire are already higher than the national average, and analysis carried out on behalf of Oxford City Council shows that to reach net zero by 2040, 25% of cars in Oxford need to be electric by 2025, 80% by 2030, and 100% by 2035. ESO will create the EV charging infrastructure needed to give more people the confidence to make the switch.

About the installation work

The works are being carried out on behalf of ESO project lead, Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, and are expected to take approximately five months.
The locations for the works are:

  • National Grid Cowley substation to Watlington Road (B480) – Work starts 02/08/21 for approximately four months. Temporary traffic lights will be in place along Watlington Road
  • Eastern bypass (A4142) to Heyford Hill roundabout – Work starts 16/08/21 for approximately four months. Temporary traffic lights will be in place for Long Lane to Oxford Road section
  • Eastern bypass (A423) to Redbridge Park & Ride (A4144) – Works starts 09/08/21 for approximately five months. Eastern by-pass works will make use of cycleway which will remain open to cyclists.

The installation works are expected to take place between 7am – 7pm from Monday to Sunday. However, some works may need to be carried out at night, as advised by Oxfordshire County Council highways.

Residents in the surrounding area have been informed on the upcoming work. Four teams will work simultaneously at different points on the route, with the aim of completing the works as quickly as possible with minimum disruption.

Temporary traffic lights will be in place along parts of the route where works take place on the road.  Access to the cycleway will remain open throughout the works, at a reduced width, and pedestrian ramps will be installed to allow continued access to pavements.

“I am delighted that we are about to start work to install the cable works for Energy Superhub Oxford. This cable work will help to deliver power to the UK’s largest electric vehicle superhub which we will be installing at Redbridge Park & Ride. This is a key milestone in this project, and the future of Oxford’s journey to becoming a net zero city.”

Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council

“The start of the cable installation marks an important milestone for Energy Superhub Oxford as we work to deliver the low carbon infrastructure Oxford needs to accelerate net zero. With our partners, we are doing everything we can to complete these works as quickly as possible and minimise the impact they will have on the local community.”

Tim Rose, programme manager for Energy Superhub Oxford at Pivot Power