In the South West, EDF Energy
has been granted a Development Consent Order for a new nuclear power station at
Hinkley Point. A number of other significant new electricity generation projects such as Seabank 3 are also proposed. These low carbon energy projects will help meet the country’s
increasing demand for energy in a sustainable way.
It is National Grid’s role to connect these new electricity
generators to our network so that we can all benefit from the energy they
produce. To do so we need to provide additional electricity capacity in the
South West to ensure these new connections are safe and reliable.
We believe the best way to provide this additional capacity
is to remove the existing 132,000 volt overhead electricity line owned by
Western Power Distribution and build a new 400,000 volt connection between
Bridgwater and Seabank.
We are proposing to remove 65 kilometres (40 miles) of
existing 132,000 volt overhead line between Bridgwater and Avonmouth
substations and put up 46.6 kilometres (29 miles) of 400,000 volt overhead
line. Over eight kilometres (five miles) of the new connection would be placed
underground through and either side of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding
Beauty (AONB), leaving this part of the Mendip Hills free from pylons for the
first time in over 40 years. Eight kilometres (five miles) of existing 132,000
volt overhead line from Nailsea to Portishead substation would also be put underground.
Overall, there would be around 90 fewer pylons. The new
pylons would be carrying more electricity and would therefore be larger than
the existing ones. We are introducing the shorter T-pylon to help address
On 19 January 2016 the Department of Energy and Climate Change gave our project the go ahead. All documents relating to the decision can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website.
We welcome this announcement. This connection will play a vital role in providing clean, affordable and secure energy the country can rely on.
We would like to thank everyone who took part in the local consultation during the six years of planning this project. Their feedback had a significant influence on our final proposal and we look forward to continuing these relationships with local communities over the coming years. We assure residents that we will carry out the construction work responsibly and safely.
There’s a lot to do before we start building. Over the next few months we will revise the construction programme to make sure the power station is connected to Britain’s homes and businesses efficiently and on time. This means we’re unlikely to start construction during 2016, but we will be carrying out ground investigations and other activity in some areas along the route.
We will now review the decision in detail before speaking with communities about the revised programme in the coming months.
More information on this project can be found on our dedicated Hinkley Point C Connection project website.