engineering intelligent solutions

Case Study: Delivering Solutions - In Partnership with freedom group

The Freedom Group provide engineering design, installation and maintenance services to electricity networks and specialise in large projects for utilities. The company was contracted by Thames Water, a large water utility company, to manage the refurbishment of the electrical substations for Thames Water’s Blackbirds Sewage Treatment Works and Drop Lane Sewage Pumping Station sites.

The Challenge

At over 30 years old, the switchgear at Blackbirds treatment works and Drop Lane pumping station sites were in need of replacement. As part of an overall upgrade of both sites Thames Water took the decision to replace these with modern switchgear assets which would deliver greater functionality, and the option to install  automation in the future if required. In order to perform the work a network outage was required and timings were critical in order to keep the outage to a minimum and avoid interruption to the sewage treatment process for the surrounding area.

As the contractor for the project, Freedom were looking for a supplier that could deliver a complete switchgear solution and provide end-to-end management of the project from intial order, through installation, testing and commissioning. Freedom needed to have absolute confidence that the partner they selected would be able to keep to tight and defined timescales in order to ensure minimal network outage.


The Solution

Lucy Electric were an ideal fit for the project as both the switchgear manufacturer and service provider. Lucy Electric were able to guarantee delivery of the specified equipment to the project timescales, from its ranges manufactured within the UK and supply highly skilled engineers for every stage of the project. This was the largest project undertaken to date by Lucy Electric’s Energy Services team and was highly labour intensive. To ensure success, four experienced and multi-skilled engineers and an Electrical Project Manager were assigned to the project.

The team were tasked with delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of six Sabre VRNa units at the substations on the two sites over a fixed four week period, as defined by the customer and the DNO responsible for the network.


The instillation work included

• Laying of 150m of BS6622 300sqmm SWA cable

• Installation and mounting of the switchgear, including trench supports

• Preparation and connection of 18 three-phase terminations

• Installation of eight 11KV cable joints

• Circuit integrity pressure testing, and full functional electrical testing

• Extensive RMU earthing and bonding.

• Site acceptance report generation

The install team ensured all risk assessments and method statements were completed ahead of schedule, and the entire lifecycle of the project was managed and delivered in close collaboration with the customer to meet all specified requirements.


The Outcome

The project was completed on time and to all customer specifications ensuring that all Thames Water services from the site were able to continue uninterrupted. At the end of the project the end client Thames Water, had fully refurbished substations on the two sites with modern protection equipment and switchgear. Going forward this will ensure a safe and reliable electrical network for both sites.

Both the contractor and end client can have confidence and peace of mind that the switchgear for each site has been installed and checked by the Manufacturer and that the work has been undertaken correctly and all equipment is proven functionally correct.

The site substations are now future-proofed with robust, modern, low maintenance and reliable switchgear with a built in, easy upgrade path for future automation solutions, should they be required.


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