A greener future for London
by SSE

The red bus is an iconic and integral part of London carrying over 6.5 million passengers a day. SSE Enterprise has played a pivotal role in the deployment of London’s first large scale, zero-emission, single deck bus fleet – the largest of its kind in Europe. Providing the electrical infrastructure for the fleet’s charging points was a complex but vital component of this ground-breaking initiative.

Ambitious vision

The project, led by Go Ahead London under contract to Transport for London, has been in development since 2013 and involved the delivery of 51 electric buses on routes 507 and 521 operating between Waterloo and Victoria. The state-of-the-art vehicles are capable of carrying up to 90 passengers and use some of the most advanced zero emission technology in the world. They also screen Underground and Overground service statuses and have USB sockets installed for phone chargers. It’s expected that 7 million passengers will use the new buses every year.

In order to accommodate this revolutionary fleet, Waterloo Bus Depot required an intricate electrical infrastructure to supply the supporting 43 charging points, with a further five at the nearby Mandela Way depot.

SSE Enterprise was appointed to design and install the network in spring 2016 in time for the official launch on 9th September 2016.

Turnkey solution

This was a complex job with numerous logistical issues to consider. Waterloo is an extremely busy operational site surrounded by residential housing. It was therefore of paramount importance to ensure the continued smooth running of the station and the least disruption to neighbours whilst work was ongoing.

Although this presented a challenge, the team engineered a series of carefully designed solutions to keep disruption to an absolute minimum.

Construction work was divided into phases to enable machinery to be manoeuvred in the limited available space and to accommodate large items of equipment. Deliveries were planned strategically and there was close cooperation with adjacent properties to avoid noisy works at unsociable hours.

Our primary goal was to assist Go Ahead in improving air quality in the capital by integrating the latest charging point technology into a central London bus depot. Go Ahead London’s electric bus manufacturer, Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL), praised the project’s holistic, one stop approach to the EV installation.

“Being able to present the customer with this sort of single, proven turnkey solution has been a significant advantage to what could potentially be a hugely complex logistical issue had the right partners not been involved. I am pleased to say our experience of collaborating with SSE Enterprise has been exemplary.”
Keith Watson, Customer Development Director at ADL

Cleaner air, better service

As an energy services provider, reducing carbon emissions is integral to SSE Enterprise’s sustainable business practices. The contract with Go Ahead London was an opportunity to support the campaign to improve air quality in the capital and the first step towards all 300 central London single deck buses becoming zero emission by 2020. Zero exhaust means lower carbon emissions and cleaner air, with less noise and vibration for passengers. The new buses will save emissions of 700 tonnes of CO2 per year compared with the diesel buses they have replaced. SSE Enterprise is proud to be supporting London’s goal to be a zero carbon city by 2050.

Link to project webpage

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