Elland contractor completes solar farm works in Cambridgeshire


Electrical engineering works at the Next Energy Capital solar farm in Cambridgeshire has been completed by Elland-based high-voltage power contractor, Smith Brothers.

Working as the Independent Connection Provider (ICP) on the generation project, the Smith Brothers team designed, constructed, installed and tested the UK Power Network’s (UKPN) 132kV substation and Private 132/33kV customer substation, right on schedule.

With work having commenced on the Little Staughton airfield development in May 2019, the 50MW connection was finished in early December, and generation has already begun.

Yet, construction at the green power site wasn’t without its challenges – as 6.5km of underground cabling was needed to traverse tricky obstacles.

Battling unpredictable weather conditions, the 4.7km of fibre-optic cabling – linking the new 132kV substation and that at Eaton Socon – needed to pass through agricultural land, while a further 1.8km electrical system required coordination of directional drilling across drainage ditches and roads.

“We were faced with some unexpected weather but pulled together to complete another successful clean energy scheme,” said John Benson, Project Manager at Smith Brothers.