Supergrid transformer to be delivered as part of new substation construction

National Grid is preparing for the delivery of a large supergrid transformer to the site of a new grid supply point (GSP) substation between Butler’s Wood and Waldegrave Wood, off the A131 south of Sudbury. The GSP substation is needed so that existing 132 kV overhead line can be removed as part of the construction of the planned Bramford to Twinstead Reinforcement. 

The supergrid transformer is a key component of the new GSP substation. Weighing in at 178 tonnes, it converts the voltage of electricity so that it can be safely supplied to local homes and businesses. 

Given the weight and length of the transformer, it is classified as an abnormal indivisible load and needs to be delivered on a specialist vehicle under police escort and at low speed. The convoy containing the transformer is due to leave the Port of Tilbury at around 7 pm on 1 June 2024. It will travel overnight up to the GSP substation site and is expected to arrive by around 5 am on 2 June 2024.  

From the Port, the convoy will travel north along the A1089, west along the A13 and then anticlockwise around the M25 up to junction 27. It will then turn onto the M11 northbound up to junction 8, where it will exit onto the A120 eastbound. East of Braintree, the convoy will continue from the A120 via the Marks Farm roundabout onto the A131, which it will follow up to the GSP substation site. 

When travelling along the A131, there are several points at which the team working on the supergrid transformer delivery will need to temporarily remove street furniture, such as bollards and signage. Temporary parking restrictions will also be required in the vicinity of Forge Veterinary Centre until the delivery vehicle has passed. These measures are required to ensure the safe passage of the convoy and to avoid any damage to property.

The whole journey is likely to take approximately 10 hours, with the convey travelling at a maximum speed of between 10 and 15 mph. 

Adam Richards, Senior Project Manager at National Grid, says:

The delivery of the supergrid transformer is a significant milestone in the construction of the grid supply point substation. By carrying this work out now, we can reduce the amount of time it takes to build the rest of the Bramford to Twinstead Reinforcement, if approved. 

Our team continue to work closely with the police and the local highways authority to minimise the disruption caused by this activity. We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of the local community whilst this work takes place.

Individuals planning to travel during the period the supergrid transformer is being delivered are advised to allow additional time for their journey or to use alternative routes.

The Bramford to Twinstead Reinforcement will see around 25 km of existing 132 kV overhead line removed and replaced with up to 18 km of new 400 kV overhead line and around 11 km of new 400 kV underground cable. Strengthening the network in this way resolves a capacity bottleneck and will help deliver cleaner, greener energy from where it is generated to where it is needed. You can learn more about the project on our website.