Overview – Summer 2022
In May 2021, National Grid started work to build the northern section of the new 400,000 volt overhead connection between Sandford and Seabank substations. We’re using T-pylons for part of the route between Sandford and Portbury, and new traditional lattice pylons through Avonmouth to make the final connection into Seabank substation.
In July 2022, our contractor Balfour Beatty started erecting new lattice pylons in Avonmouth. In early Autumn 2022, work will start to build 68 new T-pylons between Sandford and Portbury.
We expect T-pylon components to be delivered to the working areas, with erection of the new pylons to start from September 2022. All pylons will be constructed with the wires in place by 2023.
By using the innovative T-pylon design, the height of the new 400,00 volt infrastructure is being reduced by a third compared to an equivalent 400,000 volt lattice pylon (35 metres compared to 48 metres). The base of the T-pylons also requires less land meaning that their footprint on the ground is significantly reduced.
In April 2022, our contractors returned to Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve to re-start the work needed to install underground cables that’ll replace existing pylons to the east of their substation, and to build two new T-pylons in the reserve itself. Our main construction activities in the nature reserve are timed to avoid disturbance to wintering birds and other wildlife.
To make way for the new 400,000 volt connection, National Grid is removing 67 kilometres of existing 132,000 volt overhead wires and pylons – 249 in total from the Somerset landscape. We removed a line of 132,000 volt pylons between Nailsea and Portishead in 2021. Work to remove 37 kilometres of pylons between Bridgwater and Sandford is underway. During 2023, we’ll remove the line of existing lattice pylons that runs from Sandford to Avonmouth.
Thank you from everyone working on the project for your patience as we continue our work to deliver electricity safely, efficiently, and reliably, and support the UK’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2050.
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