National Grid has today, 29 January 2019, announced the award of a hat-trick of construction contracts worth a total of £300m, as work begins to step up on the Hinkley Connection Project.
The announcement is a major step forward for National Grid, with the new connection allowing electricity to be moved from the new Hinkley C nuclear power station to millions of homes and businesses across Britain and helping the UK to meet low-carbon energy targets.
The contracts have been awarded to the following companies:
Balfour Beatty, who will be building the new design T-pylons
J Murphy and Sons Ltd, who will be constructing underground cables between Nailsea and Portishead
Siemens, who will be building a new substation at Sandford
Their work will help deliver the new high-voltage electricity connection between Bridgwater and Seabank near Avonmouth.
Sue Adam, Hinkley Connection Project Director, said: “The awarding of these contracts marks a major step forward on this vital connection project, as we gear up to start construction work in earnest. We look forward to working with our new partners to deliver the many different elements of the work involved.
“People will see construction work going on at different times and in different places over the next seven years. We and our newly appointed contractors will do everything we can to minimise impacts wherever possible.”
The new connection will be 57 km long – consisting of 48.5 km of overhead line and 8.5 km of underground cable through the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Putting the connection underground through the Mendip hills will reduce the overall effect on communities and the landscape. In addition, National Grid will be removing 67 km of overhead line owned by Western Power Distribution (WPD), including pylons that currently cross the AONB. The project will use a new pylon design, known as the T-pylon, for much of the route.
Balfour Beatty was awarded the contract to install underground cable through the AONB last summer and is due to start work in March 2019 on the A38.
National Grid is liaising directly with parish councils and local residents ahead of each phase of work and comprehensive information about the project and details of the forthcoming construction activity can be found on the project webpages.
National Grid will be building a temporary road along the length of the project, to reduce the amount of construction traffic on local roads.
Before construction starts, vegetation will be cleared along the route, but National Grid is committed to the mitigating the impact of the project by investing in widespread tree and hedgerow planting within 3km of the development to enhance the local landscape and biodiversity.