Continuing our profiles of our employees who are working hard to support the safe and reliable supply of electricity at local, regional and national level, on which the people and organisations whose work is critical to the coronavirus response depend, today we are focusing on Donald Campbell from our Transmission Operations and Maintenance team which is part of our SSEN Transmission business.

Donald is a Team Manager, supervising overhead line patrols on the high voltage network in the Highlands of Scotland.

He said: “As transmission network operator in the north of Scotland, SSEN Transmission plays a vital role in powering the country, providing a safe and reliable supply of electricity on which people and organisations depend. Its employees are working 24/7 to keep the network running, providing an essential service transporting energy to where it is needed.

“I live in Inverness and have been working for SSEN Transmission for six years as an overhead line team manager in the Operations team. My work normally takes me all over the north of Scotland, in some of the remotest and most difficult to reach locations and I am out in all weathers, in every season.

“Most people might not know what an overhead line maintenance team does, but our work is really important in making sure we keep the high voltage network in perfect working order. This keeps the power flowing, making sure it can be transported from where it is generated to where it is needed, across the country.

“To keep the network fully operational, we inspect thousands of kilometres of overhead line in our area. As you can imagine, this is a big undertaking. Although we have technology to help us do this, the lines still need to be inspected in person. We need to walk along the route of our power lines to survey the pylons, the wires and the fittings, checking for any potential damage or defects.

“Stormy weather can affect overhead lines, so we check for any damage to the wires or fittings caused by high winds or lightning, as well as general wear and tear.  Some damage may be repaired immediately, some may require us to organise additional staff and resources to do at a later date. Regular inspection and maintenance make sure our powerlines can continue to do their important job. These patrols are vital, our findings are fed back to our line maintenance management team so they can schedule in any further repairs to ensure we maintain a secure supply of energy for the communities we serve.”

“Recent events have really brought home to me how important the work we do actually is. We maintain a safe and reliable supply of electricity on which everybody depends including the people and organisations critical to the coronavirus response.

“Just like everyone across the country we have been adapting the way we work to ensure we are following government guidelines, protecting each other and the communities where we are working. We have established new working procedures to make sure we can work safely and maintain social distancing, keeping a minimum two metre distance to each other when carry out our inspections. We would normally travel together in small teams to our work site but are now travelling alone in separate vehicles to ensure we can maintain separation.

“I have always felt lucky to do the job I do. I love the outdoors and I get to work in some of the most beautiful parts of the country. Now as a key worker, I am playing my part in supporting the coronavirus response and its frontline workers.  It makes me even prouder to do my job.”  



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