East Huntspill to Mendips

Overview – Winter 2022

Our contractor, Balfour Beatty, has started to hang the wires (conductors) on the world’s first T-pylons, which will help carry low-carbon energy from Hinkley Point C and other sources to 6 million homes and businesses in the UK.

The team has begun hanging the wires on the new T-pylons between Bridgwater and Sandford. Starting at the new T-pylon north of Woolavington, the wiring will progress in sequence along the new connection route.

We expect to finish building the new T-pylons and the wiring work south of Sandford substation by spring 2022.

National Grid has started to remove 37 kilometres of existing 132,000 volt pylons owned by Western Power Distribution (WPD) between Bridgwater and Sandford. We’re carrying out the work in stages and expect to complete removing this line of pylons by summer 2022 – leaving part of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) pylon-free for the first time since the 1960s.

This work is part of the changes we’re making to WPD’s network, which will see 67 kilometres of existing overhead line and 249 pylons removed by 2025, to make way for and reduce the visual impact of the new T-pylons.

We recognise that our construction activity impacts local communities and work with our contractors to limit that as much as possible.

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Projects timeline

Early 2019 to mid 2024


Build and access temporary haul road and construction compounds

What we're doing:

  • Building two temporary construction compounds and a temporary entrance and access road off the A38, north of Tarnock, to allow construction traffic to enter the site from the local highway. Work will start on the access and compounds in 2019.

  • One of the compounds will includes site offices and internal and external storage facilities to support the work to build a 400,000 volt underground cable across the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

  • The other temporary site compound will be used for the construction of the 400,000 volt overhead line and removal of the existing 132,000 volt overhead line in the area.

Early 2020 to late 2022


Build new 400,000 volt overhead line

What we're doing:

  • Building a new overhead line from the existing Hinkley to Melksham overhead line, which is north of Woolavington, northwards to a new cable sealing end (CSE) compound just south of the Mendip Hills. See Mendip Hills for further information about the CSE compound.

  • We will use T-pylons in this area, with the exception of where the overhead line connects to the existing overhead line.

Mid 2021 to mid 2022


Remove existing 132,000 volt overhead line

What we're doing:

  • Removing Western Power Distribution’s overhead line from Bridgwater substation to the A368 in Sandford. This will make way for, and minimise the visual impact of the new overhead line.