[13 October] Supergrid transformer finishes epic journey in Somerset

A 178-tonne Supergrid electricity transformer has been delivered via Dunball Wharf to Taunton Substation.

Upgrade to the substation is needed as part of the Hinkley Connection project, which will transport low carbon energy to more than 6 million UK homes and businesses.

The transformer will ensure power continues to be delivered reliably to the local area.

An electricity transformer, measuring 5 metres high – the height of a two-story building - has been delivered to Dunball Wharf near Bridgwater and continued its journey via the country lanes of Somerset to the National Grid substation in Taunton on Sunday. (11 October).
In a first for National Grid, working in partnership with haulage contractors, Mammoet, the 178-tonne transformer arrived via a barge to Dunball Wharf, with specialist lifting equipment enabling the transformer to be delivered through the narrow wharf.

Transformers step up or step down the voltage of electricity between different circuits and play a vital role in helping ensure the UK continues to enjoy safe and reliable electricity supplies. This new supergrid transformer will support the connection of low carbon energy in the South West. It will reinforce electricity supplies to the local area, enabling National Grid to remove pylons and lines on the existing 132kV network to make room for the new Hinkley Connection.

The journey and route were carefully planned with Avon and Somerset Police and Highways England to minimise disruption to the public and road users.

The transformer was delivered on a specialist vehicle, 50 metres long which travelled at approximately 5 miles per hour.

The transformer left from Dunball Wharf early on Sunday morning via the A38. After being transferred to a smaller trailer, it left a weighbridge on the M5, arriving at the substation mid-afternoon. As the roads between the M5 and the substation are very narrow, the project team needed to coordinate a closure for a short time for this final leg of the journey.

National Grid project engineer Michele Nolan said: “Millions of people rely on us to supply their electricity without interruption, day in, day out so it’s important that we keep our substations and the equipment in them working efficiently.

It’s a first for National Grid to deliver such a big piece of essential equipment via a small privately owned wharf but we’ve been planning this for months to ensure we can continue to deliver power reliably to the local area.”

For more information visit Hinkley Connection Project.



Press information:

Helen Blake /07790 824788