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Don't look down! Dramatic pictures show daring workers on giant electric power line

PUBLISHED: 15:19 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:19 14 June 2019

Workers from UK Power Networks install electrical equipment on overhead lines between Bramford and Lawford. Picture: SHIRLEY POTTER

Workers from UK Power Networks install electrical equipment on overhead lines between Bramford and Lawford. Picture: SHIRLEY POTTER

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It's not a job for someone who is scared of heights - but thankfully these highly-skilled workers know exactly what they're doing when it comes to this truly daring task.

Workers from UK Power Networks install electrical equipment on overhead lines between Bramford and Lawford. Picture: SHIRLEY POTTERWorkers from UK Power Networks install electrical equipment on overhead lines between Bramford and Lawford. Picture: SHIRLEY POTTER

UK Power Networks is currently upgrading its 132kV electricity power lines between Bramford, Suffolk and Lawford, in Essex, as part of a £5.5million revamp project.

But in order to do that, it means people have to climb the dizzying heights of an overhead power line tower to fit new equipment, which will help to control the flow of power and help the lines to work more efficiently.

Step forward this brave team from UK Power Networks, who can be seen in these photos taken by Shirley Potter at Wenham Road, Copdock, near Ipswich suspended at great height with harnesses clipping them to the tower.

The pictures also show them using vertical ladders to move along the power lines safely - not a job for the faint-hearted.

Workers from UK Power Networks install electrical equipment on overhead lines between Bramford and Lawford. Picture: SHIRLEY POTTERWorkers from UK Power Networks install electrical equipment on overhead lines between Bramford and Lawford. Picture: SHIRLEY POTTER

While the pictures are enough to make some of us wince, UK Power Networks says the benefits of their actions will soon become clear - as it will enable to firm to power 45,000 more homes without building additional infrastructure.

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It will in turn potentially save customers up to £8million, a UK Power Networks spokesman said.

The spokesman added: "Linesmen in these images are working safely at height to install electrical equipment on our 132kV lines between Bramford and Lawford.

"This upgrade is part of a £5.5million investment to make the lines work more efficiently and will include fitting new equipment to control the flow of power.

"The equipment will balance load across three power lines on the same circuit to bolster capacity and accommodate more decarbonised, renewable generation.

"This project is trialling new technology to release 95MW of additional capacity - that is enough to power 45,000 homes without building any additional infrastructure and will potentially save customers up to £8million."

The "Power Guardian" devices being installed have already been trialled successful in the United States and France. This is the first time they are being trialled in the United Kingdom.

They work by impeding the line carrying the most electricity, and route power to alternative circuits with more capacity.

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