Frequently asked questions

What are your plans at Cilfynydd substation?

We are investigating plans to expand Cilfynydd substation to improve the resilience and reliability of the electricity network. As the population increases, there is greater demand on our network to provide new sources of electricity. This, coupled with the shift towards renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, means that we have to ensure that our network is able to manage the changes in how we provide electricity.

National Grid owns and operates the national electricity transmission system in Wales and England. We have an obligation to ensure that we are providing consistent and reliable electricity to our customers. We’re also required to provide connections to all new energy generation projects so that homes and businesses can use the renewable power produced. This demand for new customers is growing because of the energy transition. In this way, we’re playing a key role in helping Wales and the rest of the UK achieve targets for renewables and net zero.

Is this related to Bute Energy’s Twyn Hywel Energy Park or WP Grid Services Limited’s proposal at Cilfynydd substation?

As the owner and operator of the electricity network in Wales and England, we are required to provide connections for any new energy generation project so that homes and businesses can benefit from the renewable energy produced. Our work at Cilfynydd is a direct result of generation customer applications to connect to our network.

National Grid is not directly involved with the planning applications from these customers, but it is our licence obligation to provide a connection point to Bute Energy and WP Grid Services, should the two projects be granted planning permission. There is no available space to connect them into the existing substation and so we will need to expand the substation in the surrounding land. This is National Grid owned land.

What will the extension look like?

Our work is at an early stage and we have not yet developed detailed plans for the extension. However, we expect the extension to be within the land around the substation we already own.

Over the coming months we’ll be completing surveys in and around the substation to give us more information about the area.  These will include ecology surveys to give us more information about the wildlife in the area. We’ll also need to dig small boreholes to assess the ground conditions. The surveys will be completed by February 2024.

With this information, we’ll develop more detailed plans for the substation including the location of the extension, and the nature of the equipment we’ll need.

We will also develop plans for how we will manage environmental effects, including how we will use the project to improve biodiversity. We are committed to achieving a 10 per cent biodiversity net gain compared to now.

Will your work need planning permission?

As an electricity statutory undertaker, National Grid benefits from certain permitted development rights within its land ownership under Schedule 2, Part 17, Class G of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

Permitted development is a grant of planning permission provided that specific criteria are met. Our work to extend the substation is within our existing land and related to the operation of the electricity network, so meets the criteria to be considered permitted development. As such, we are not required to apply for planning permission to carry out the work. We are, however, committed to engaging with the local community to ensure we do what we can to minimise the impact of our work.

Will the construction work cause disturbance to the local community?

We always plan to complete any work with the minimum of disturbance for people living near to our sites.

The majority of the survey work will be done simply by people walking on the site completing their assessments. People living nearby may see our teams on the land around the substation.

For boreholes, we’ll need digging or drilling equipment, but this would only be for a short time.

We expect the extension of the substation to be on land already owned by National Grid so any construction work would be within this area. It’s too early to say exactly what the work to build the extension would involve. When we know more, we’ll let people living nearby know.

We are aware of the concern regarding several proposed energy infrastructure projects nearby, and we are committed to working with our neighbours to ensure that disruption and visual impact of our activity is kept to a minimum.

What are the timings for your work?

We expect to begin work at the substation towards the end of 2024, however this is subject to change. We will have clarity on the timeframes once we have completed the initial surveys and know more about the scale and nature of the work involved.

Will you keep us up to date as the project progresses?

Yes, we’ll continue to keep local communities up to date. People can also continue to keep up to date via our website www.address or by getting in touch by email at [email protected], or calling 0800 915 3593.