Enable Infrastructure installs next generation of lifesaving standby power equipment at Milton Keynes University Hospital

Enable Infrastructure installs next generation of lifesaving standby power equipment at Milton Keynes University Hospital

29 April 2022

At Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH), Enable Infrastructure (formerly known as BCM Construction) recently finalised an 11-month project updating the backup power systems that serve the large hospital site. Enable Infrastructure was awarded the design, installation, and commission package of works at Milton Keynes University Hospital. This award came through the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), Lot 1.2 (South England and Wales) – Civil Engineering Works and Minor Associated Building Works and Services.

The Crown Commercial Service Framework enables public sector organisations and their arms-length bodies to access all types of building and civil engineering works. The flexible contract structure provides solutions for varying customer requirements. It includes advanced, innovative contract arrangements, allowing customers to procure programmes of work as self-managed sub-alliances.

Enable Power Systems (formerly known as BCM Power Systems) team undertook the work including a full scope of innovative power engineering solutions ranging from LV to HV (132Kv). Combining decades of experience and deep levels of knowledge, the Power Systems team have completed works for DNO suppliers and delivered major rail power systems across the UK.

This installation includes phased decommissioning and upgrade of two existing 500 kVA transformers to two new 1250kVA transformers and one existing 350 kVA generator to a 1250kVA generator and fuel polishing system serving LV5.

As a seven-phase programme running for almost a year, some of the later phase work included the removal of two expiring, aged transformers, and ring main units which were then replaced by a singular modern transformer. This change is a key component of the hospital’s decarbonisation and upgrade plan and was the final major item to be connected.

New HV and LV cabling was also installed between the new equipment. Civil works were also required to enlarge the footprint of the existing substation to host one of the new transformers and cable duct routes.

In the early design stages, it was discovered that the existing LV Switchboard could not take the fault ratings of the new transformers. But in conjunction with the client, a working solution was agreed upon that was both cost-effective and practical.

As the principal contractor, Enable Infrastructure has been responsible for the design and installation, alongside the administration of a temporary backup power supply to the hospital for the duration of the project. Now completed, Enable Infrastructure has instituted 2x 1250Kva transformers, a new 1400Kva CUMMINS C1400D5 standby generator (a ‘greener’ replacement for the existing pair of 300Kva generators) and a new modern auto changeover panel. For comparison, a standard UK home consumes 3Kva, which means the generator installed could power up to 460 homes at once!

The new generator will benefit the hospital through emergency electricity supply in case of sudden grid failures. In turn, this supports the Trust’s overall energy management and stabilisation, helping the dedicated medical professionals of MKUH care for their patients without losing vital power. Additionally, the upgrade will future-proof the hospital against the incoming fuel levy uprating on red diesel by utilising the cleaner and more cost-effective HVO100 fuel instead.

Enable Infrastructure project manager Joe Deed commented:

“The project to date is the most challenging and interesting I have worked on and has been a real learning experience with so many factors to consider and different elements of technical integration to be managed. This project was a first for Enable Infrastructure in the health care sector, we learnt many lessons and are hungry for the next challenge the industry can provide. The project was also impacted by COVID and market delays, but working collaboratively with the trust, we managed to complete a design with the correct scope, ultimately meaning that we remain on track for delivery.”

Stuart Watson, Engineering Manager, BDP – MKUH Infrastructure Support, said:

“The successful completion of the project to upgrade substations 5&6 to increase the size of the transformers and standby generations to give greater resilience and provide increased capacity supports the Trust’s ambitious plans to significantly expand its facilities through the delivery of a major capital works programme. In addition, the provision of new and refurbished buildings offers the opportunity ‘to lead where we can’ in developing, investing in, and applying the solutions required to decarbonise the MKUH estate.

“Enable Infrastructure has executed the project to achieve a seamless transfer of power to the new infrastructure without any impact on the hospital’s 24-hour operations. They have shown their experience of similar projects with National Rail can be transferred to achieve the same high standards of installation.”

Enable Infrastructure partnered with SJH and IND Services to source a mobile crane to oversee both the delivery and placement of the external transformers in February 2022, with the process taking place successfully. A 55-tonne crane was used to deploy the new transformers and a 100-tonne crane to install the new Genset. The pictures of the undertaking provide the opportunity for some striking imagery as shown.

Enable Infrastructure looks forward to continuing this work in earnest, as part of its mission to deliver social value through successful infrastructure projects.


  • Site clearance and set-up
  • Design, supply and build the bonding solution for the new substation
  • Upgrade/works of the existing substation SS5-6
  • Phased decommissioning of the existing 2no. 500 kVA transformers
  • Phased decommissioning of the 1 existing 350 kVA generator serving LV5
  • Increasing the substation footprint to accommodate the new equipment
  • Installation of Compound Earthing System works
  • Substation concrete base including cable entry ducts and all cable ductwork
  • Installation of the new 1250 kVA replacement generator
  • Installation of fuel polishing system
  • Supply and install control and protection equipment including batteries, relays, chargers, RTUs, cabling and auxiliary wiring
  • Supply and install HV cables, jointing and jointing materials
  • Supply and install HV and emergency tripping cables
  • Supply substation locks or access system
  • Commissioning of transformer 5
  • Temporary generator installation