East Anglia GREEN frequently asked questions

Here you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the East Anglia GREEN project.

We’ll update these as our work progresses and we hope they answer your questions about this project.

General Information

Who is National Grid?

National Grid sits at the heart of Britain’s energy system, connecting millions of people and businesses to the energy they use every day. We bring energy to life – in the heat, light and power we bring to our customer’s homes and businesses; in the way that we support our communities and help them to grow; and in the way we show up in the world. It is our vision to be at the heart of a clean, fair and affordable energy future. 

Our individual companies run the systems and infrastructure that deliver electricity and gas across the country. 

  • National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) own, build, and manage the electricity grid in England and Wales to which many different energy sources are connected.  
  • National Grid Gas Transmission own, build, and manage the gas transmission network in Great Britain, making gas available when and where it’s needed.  
  • National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) control the movement of electricity around the country ensuring supply meets demand.  
  • National Grid Ventures (NGV) is the competitive division of National Grid, investing in energy projects, technologies, and partnerships to accelerate the development of our clean energy future. 

More information about National Grid can be found on ‘About Us’. 

What is National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET)?

National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET), owns, builds and maintains the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales. In England and Wales, the high voltage network operates primarily at 400,000 volts (400 kV) and 275,000 volts (275 kV).  

It is NGET that is developing plans for the East Anglia GREEN reinforcement and are the electricity and transmission arm within National Grid.  

What is National Grid ESO?

National Grid ESO is the Electricity System Operator for Great Britain. Generators of electricity apply to National Grid ESO when they wish to connect to the high-voltage electricity network. National Grid ESO leads the work to consider how the network may need to evolve to deliver a cleaner greener future. National Grid ESO is a separate legal entity from National Grid Electricity Transmission.

What is National Grid Ventures (NGV)?

National Grid Ventures (NGV) sit outside the core regulated National Grid businesses, investing in technologies and partnerships that help accelerate the UK’s move to a clean energy future. This includes interconnectors, which are undersea cables that connect the UK with countries across the North Sea, allowing trade between energy markets and efficient use of renewable energy resources.

What are National Grid’s policies when working in the UK?

National Grid’s commitments when undertaking works in the UK can be found in our Stakeholder, community and amenity policy: Commitments when undertaking works in the UK.

What are National Grid Electricity Transmissions’ (NGET) responsibilities within the electricity industry?

When developing transmission network proposals, we have a statutory duty, under the Electricity Act 1989, to act in an efficient, coordinated and economical way, and have regard to the desirability of preserving amenity. 

When considering options to deliver additional electrical network capability, we must balance the need to develop the network in a way that is efficient, coordinated and economical, and minimises impacts on people and places.

How is National Grid regulated?

In the UK, energy networks are regulated by Ofgem, (the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets). Ofgem operate under the direction and governance of the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA). It has established price control mechanisms to ensure that the investment required to maintain a reliable and secure network is delivered at a fair price for consumers. 

Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and as such, we are also regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the UK. 

 

What is the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy?

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), is a ministerial department responsible for business, industrial strategy, science, research and innovation, energy and clean growth, and climate change. BEIS are looking to build a stronger, greener future through innovation.  

Following the Government’s ‘Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’ in December 2020, BEIS published an energy white paper entitled ‘Powering Our Net Zero Future, which sets out how the UK will clean up its energy system and reach net zero emissions by 2050. BEIS works alongside Ofgem in setting the framework within which National Grid ESO, National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) and the wider energy sector operates. 

What is the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s Offshore Transmission Network Review?

The Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department’s Offshore Transmission Network Review is currently looking at how the offshore electricity transmission network can be delivered in a more coordinated way to deliver net zero emissions by 2050, and we fully support that work. We will work closely with Government, stakeholders and coastal communities to ensure we play our part to deliver the infrastructure needed to achieve net zero in a way that reduces impacts on communities. 

In meeting that challenge there are two key considerations. The first is the way in which we best connect and coordinate the growth of offshore wind farms and interconnectors to the electricity transmission network along the immediate coastline. The second is the network reinforcements required further inland to accommodate the increased demand on the network and to ensure we can effectively transport the power to where it is needed across Great Britain. 

That offshore coordination work by Government is ongoing. As explained in the Energy White Paper, Government will be looking to redesign the current regime to bring more extensive coordination and mitigate environmental, social and economic costs for the 2030s and beyond. While developers will be encouraged, where early opportunities for coordination exist, to consider becoming pathfinder projects, National Grid ESO explains in the latest Network Options Assessment, that onshore reinforcement is still needed. The System Operator’s analysis found that the viable offshore options, in the scenario where 40 GW of offshore wind is achieved by 2030, do not displace any of the onshore reinforcement requirements that have been identified. 

What is Ofgem?

Ofgem (the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) is the government regulator for gas and electricity markets in Great Britain. Ofgem is a non-ministerial government department and an independent National Regulatory Authority, whose role is to protect consumers through delivering a greener, fairer, energy system. Ofgem works with Government, industry and consumer groups to help deliver a net zero economy at the lowest cost possible to consumers.

What is the Crown Estate?

The Crown Estate is an independent commercial business, created by an Act of Parliament, with a diverse portfolio of UK buildings, shoreline, seabed, forestry, agriculture, and common land. The Crown Estate has worked alongside National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) and National Grid Electricity Transmission on studies regarding offshore wind development which will be significant in informing future policy choices on provision of offshore transmission infrastructure. 

What are interconnectors?

Interconnectors are usually high voltage direct current cables that are used to connect the electricity systems of neighbouring countries. Interconnector runs under the sea, underground or via overhead cabling, to connect the electricity systems of two countries. They allow electricity to be traded between the market in Great Britain and the continent, ensuring energy resources are used efficiently by the sharing of surplus electricity, benefiting consumers in the UK and Europe by providing flexibility to import more affordable and renewable or low carbon sources of electricity, helping keep end-user bills as low as possible, helping reduce emissions and aiding security of supply. 

National Grid Ventures already operate interconnectors linking Britain with France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway – powering 6.4million homes with clean energy each year. By 2030 90% of the energy imported by our interconnectors will be from zero carbon energy sources.

What is offshore wind and why are more offshore wind farms being developed?

Offshore wind power or offshore wind energy is the energy taken from the force of the winds out at sea, transformed into electricity and supplied into the electricity network onshore. 
 
The government’s Energy White Paper ‘Powering our Net Zero Future’ in December 2020 sets a target to deploy 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 – enough to power every home. 
 
The Climate Change Committee anticipate that electricity demand will at least double by 2050 as we shift to clean energy to drive electric vehicles, heat our homes and power our industry. 
 
The Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget ‘The UK’s path to Net Zero’ published in December 2020 recommends deploying 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030, rising to as much as 140 GW of offshore wind by 2050. 

How long do offshore wind farms last?

National Grid Electricity Transmission doesn't build wind farms, but it is generally accepted that a good quality modern turbine has a design life of about 20 years. Good maintenance may extend that to 25 years or longer and offshore wind farms may be designed such that the turbine structure above the waves can be replaced at the end of its design life. 

When would you put a connection in the sea?

Even when generation of electricity is located offshore, the demand for electricity remains onshore and is set to increase as we decarbonise our economy to achieve Net Zero. Therefore, there is a balance of what we can achieve offshore and onshore. Offshore connections are often considered where the electricity being produced is a long way from where it is needed. A subsea connection in this case can often be economically facilitated through the use of subsea HVDC connections, where these connections occur over hundreds of kilometres. Due to the large cost of the HVDC converter stations required at each end of the link, these connections are only economic over long distances. Ultimately these HVDC bulk transfers of power will come onshore and then continue onto demand centres across the whole of England and Wales through onshore electricity infrastructure. The use of subsea AC connections would be considered if more economic alternatives are not viable, or the subsea alternative is the most economical solution to move power to where it is required. Due to physical properties of AC cables at transmission voltages, these connections could not be too long in length. Due to the size, dimensions and number of cables required compared to HVDC they have a bigger impact to the marine environment. As the majority of demand is onshore and often inland across England and Wales, instances where subsea AC cables prove economic and effective to deliver electricity to the right places is rare and often less economic than other alternatives. 

What is the difference between AC and HVDC electricity?

In direct current (DC), the electrical charge (current) flows steadily in one direction. With alternating current (AC), the electrical charge keeps switching directions. Alternating current (AC) is normally used in generating, transmitting, and distributing electricity because it can be converted easily between voltages and loses less energy at lower voltages than DC. High voltage direct current (HVDC) offers some advantages over AC in particular circumstances. HVDC, for instance, is typically used to transmit power between two separate AC networks that are not synchronised - usually between two countries. HVDC also has advantages over very long transmission distances (hundreds of kilometres) within countries, or across the sea between different countries that are not electrically connected. 

Does HVDC, compared with alternative technologies, present a more cost-effective solution for transmitting electricity over long distances?

The capital costs of HVDC installations can be much higher than for equivalent overhead line transmission routes. It is very difficult to give a direct comparison as the cost of any HVDC or AC connection depends on many project-specific factors, such as whether any of it is likely to be underground and route length. Under some circumstances, HVDC may be more economic than equivalent AC transmission; generally, the longer the route length the more competitive HVDC becomes. This is because the HVDC converter stations have a large capital cost, but the HVDC cables are lower cost than their AC counterparts. Therefore, as the distance increases the large cost of the converter stations is mitigated by the savings in the cost of the HVDC circuits. The break-even distance will vary depending upon the installation type but will be in the order of hundreds of kilometres. 

Government policy, net zero and the need for a new reinforcement

How will East Anglia GREEN contribute to the Government’s 2050 Net Zero targets for a sustainable future?

The East Anglia GREEN reinforcement is one of the essential network reinforcements needed to deliver on the UK’s net zero target – without it, cleaner, greener energy generated offshore would not be able to be transported to homes and businesses across the country. 

Why are there so many projects in East Anglia and why they are all needed?

The network in East Anglia was built in the 1960s to cope with the level of demand at that time, and  currently carries around 3,200 MW of electricity generation. The growth in new energy generation from offshore wind and nuclear power over the next decade is expected to increase generation in the region by 15,000 MW, whilst interconnection with other countries is expected to connect more than 4,500 MW of new interconnection into East Anglia. This means that there will be more electricity connected in East Anglia than the network can currently accommodate.  

Our existing power lines do not have sufficient capacity to accommodate this new generation. We are already carrying out work to upgrade the existing transmission network in East Anglia, however these upgrades alone will not be sufficient.   

East Anglia GREEN is a key part of our wider investment programme to upgrade our electricity transmission network in East Anglia to ensure we meet this future energy transmission demand. 

How was the project need for East Anglia GREEN identified?

The System Operator, National Grid ESO, leads an annual process looking at how the electricity transmission network might need to adapt to likely changes to where the electricity we all use will come from. That starts with stakeholder discussions and analysis about potential Future Energy Scenarios which are published each summer. The System Operator takes those different scenarios and looks at what that might mean for the transmission network over the next ten years, publishing an Electricity Ten Year Statement each November. The transmission network owners, including National Grid Electricity Transmission, respond to the issues outlined in the Electricity Ten Year Statement with suggestions as to how those can be addressed. Then in January each year, National Grid ESO publishes a document known as the Network Options Assessment (NOA), which outlines their recommendations as to which reinforcement projects should be taken forward during the coming year to meet the future network requirements. 

A need was identified to resolve electrical boundary issues in East Anglia.  There are three onshore power boundaries where additional system flexibility is required to ensure that power generated in the area from offshore windfarms and nuclear generation has more ways to flow into the wider transmission network during maintenance or faults on the system.   

In addition, two new offshore windfarms off the Suffolk/Essex coast need to be connected to the transmission network to transport the low carbon energy they will produce to the homes and businesses where it will be used. 

The NOA 2021 identified need for an upgrade to the existing line in East Anglia in all future energy scenarios and this was confirmed in NOA 22. You can read more about the latest NOA report here

What are power boundaries on the national transmission system?

To understand current and future demands on the electricity network the concept of network boundaries is used. A boundary splits the system into two parts and shows where there are high-power flows between parts of the network. When flows across a network boundary are forecast to be above the capability of the network, there are two options to manage this: 1. pay electricity generators on one side of the boundary to reduce the energy they produce. This then reduces the flows of electricity across the boundary. When National Grid ESO pay generators to do this, these are called ‘constraint payments’; and/or 2. increase the capability of the network to allow more electricity to flow. At present, generation in the region currently totals 4,100 MW. Most of this generation (3,160 MW) is directly connected to our network and 940 MW is connected via the UK Power Networks distribution network. We call the locally-connected generation ‘embedded’. 

The boundaries are indicated in the Electricity Ten Year Statement.

What offshore windfarms will connect into East Anglia GREEN?

East Anglia GREEN would also connect new offshore wind farms off the Essex coast to the electricity transmission network. Two offshore wind farms - the North Falls Offshore Wind Farm and Five Estuaries Offshore Wind Farm - are currently in development. If they are consented, both are expected to be operational by the end of the decade. 

What is the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s Offshore Transmission Network Review?

The Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department’s Offshore Transmission Network Review is currently looking at how the offshore electricity transmission network can be delivered in a more coordinated way to deliver net zero emissions by 2050, and we fully support that work. We will work closely with Government, stakeholders and coastal communities to ensure we play our part to deliver the infrastructure needed to achieve net zero in a way that reduces impacts on communities. 

In meeting that challenge there are two key considerations. The first is the way in which we best connect and coordinate the growth of offshore wind farms and interconnectors to the electricity transmission network along the immediate coastline. The second is the network reinforcements required further inland to accommodate the increased demand on the network and to ensure we can effectively transport the power to where it is needed across Great Britain. 

That offshore coordination work by Government is ongoing. As explained in the Energy White Paper, Government will be looking to redesign the current regime to bring more extensive coordination and mitigate environmental, social and economic costs for the 2030s and beyond. While developers will be encouraged, where early opportunities for coordination exist, to consider becoming pathfinder projects, National Grid ESO explains in the latest Network Options Assessment, that onshore reinforcement is still needed. The System Operator’s analysis found that the viable offshore options, in the scenario where 40 GW of offshore wind is achieved by 2030, do not displace any of the onshore reinforcement requirements that have been identified. 

What is the Holistic Network Design (HND)?

The Pathway to 2030 Holistic Network Design (HND) for offshore wind projects was published in July 2022 and is available here. 

The HND provides a recommended onshore and offshore design for a 2030 network that can facilitate the UK Government ambition for 50 GW of offshore wind in Great Britain by 2030.  

The HND has been produced to ensure that all energy network infrastructure is designed and coordinated with optimum engineering solutions that also consider the economic, environmental and community impacts. 

In developing the HND, the National Grid ESO has brought together onshore and offshore network planning to allow the development of engineering solutions for the country’s transmission infrastructure that connects offshore wind projects to the network in a coordinated way.  

The objectives for the development of the HND were that it should be cost-efficient and deliverable, but also to minimise the impact new coordinated infrastructure has on communities and the environment.

What will you do if the HND or the next NOA changes the need for the project?

Our current proposals are based upon the NOA that was published in January 2022, If subsequent publications of the NOA (scheduled for publication in summer 2022) or HND indicate a fundamental change in strategy, we will review the project in light of these and adjust our strategy and/or proposals accordingly.  

Why aren’t offshore solutions being considered?  

Offshore solutions were considered as part of our strategic proposal to upgrade the network in East Anglia. The Corridor and Preliminary Routeing and Siting Report examines several strategic options that were considered for East Anglia GREEN that might achieve the required reinforcement including offshore and subsea options. These options were not taken forward as they did not fully address technical or physical/geographical constraints, or enable the network to operate to the required standards.   

A subsea connection would have a third of the capacity of the proposed overhead connection and therefore to transfer the anticipated levels of power generation, three subsea connections would be required including associated infrastructure such as convertor stations. This would make the connection significantly costlier to energy bill payers.  

In addition, an offshore option would still require development of onshore infrastructure.  This would include onshore connections from Norwich. Bramford and Tilbury respectively to the coast.   The onshore work is required to reinforce the existing onshore transmission network and ensure that we can continue to operate the transmission network safely and securely with the increase of generation connecting into the East Anglia area. 

What has informed the decision to take forward an onshore option?

The technology does exist to transmit power through offshore cables, however the technology capacity limits of HVDC mean that for this project, multiple links would be needed to equate to an onshore overhead line.   

East Anglia GREEN is required to increase network capacity across multiple onshore power flow boundaries (see FAQ What are power boundaries on the national transmission system?) and the option we have taken forward provides a very low economic cost per MW compared to the multiple offshore HVDC links that would be required to match the capacity of this option. EAG crosses three onshore power boundaries, but being onshore it also connects into our Bramford substation roughly halfway along the route. This allows additional system flexibility that would not be delivered by a pure subsea connection. The advantages are that there are more ways the power can flow into the wider transmission network during maintenance or faults on the system. The onshore proposal has more links to the rest of the network as well as being economically lower cost to deliver. 

To achieve the same benefits as the proposed project an offshore option would still need to include onshore infrastructure including connections from Norwich, Bramford and Tilbury respectively to the coast, as well as multiple HVDC subsea cables links. At Norwich, Bramford and Tilbury and a new coastal substation respectively there would also be a requirement for a convertor station for each HVDC subsea link, potentially two at each site. This onshore work would reinforce the existing onshore transmission network and ensure that we can continue to operate the safely and securely with the increase of generation connecting in East Anglia.  

What are the national planning policy statements and how do they influence what we are proposing?

The energy National Policy Stations (NPS) set out the government’s policy for the delivery of energy infrastructure and provide the legal framework for planning decisions.  They were first published in 2011. They provide guidance for the development of energy projects and provides the basis for examining applications for projects by the Infrastructure Planning Commission. 

They also include any other policies or circumstances that ministers consider should be taken into account in decisions on infrastructure development. 

They provide the framework within which Examining Authorities make their recommendations to the Secretary of State. 

To find out more, please see the Planning Inspectorate’s website here https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/legislation-and-advice/national-policy-statements/  

The national policy statement (NPS) which covers building electricity networks infrastructure (EN-5) states that the government expects overhead lines will often be appropriate. It does, however, recognise that there will be cases where this is not so, for example, at particularly sensitive locations, where potential adverse landscape and visual impacts of an overhead line may make it unacceptable in planning terms, taking account of the specific local environment and context.    

About East Anglia GREEN

What is the East Anglia Green project?

East Anglia Green is a proposed reinforcement of the transmission network of approximately 180 km of new connection comprising 400 kV overhead lines, including pylons and conductors, between the existing substations at Norwich Main in Norfolk, Bramford in Suffolk, and Tilbury in Essex, with undergrounded cable through the Dedham Vale AONB. East Anglia Green will also connect new offshore wind generation – the North Falls Offshore Wind Farm and Five Estuaries Offshore Wind Farm. Both projects are in development and expected to be operational by 2030 if consented.

Works will also be required at the existing 400 kV substations at Norwich, Bramford and Tilbury, and cable sealing end (CSE) compounds will be required to connect sections of underground cable with the overhead lines. 

Why is this new reinforcement needed?

The Government has set a target that by 2050 the UK will have net zero carbon emissions. In order to achieve this, and hit the targets along the way, such as connecting 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030, new infrastructure will be needed to deliver the increased energy production. This will include new overhead lines, underground cables, cable sealing end compounds (where underground cables meet overhead lines) and substations.  

Where is the proposed route?

The proposed route runs from the existing Norwich Main Substation, just south of Norwich, in a southerly direction passing to the west of Diss and continues south passing between Needham Market and Stowmarket to the existing substation at Bramford in Suffolk.  From Bramford the route continues south easterly, passing through the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and to a proposed site for a new substation near Lawford in Suffolk.  From here the route heads west and passes round the north of Colchester before travelling south west between Braintree and Witham.  The route passes around the north of Chelmsford, passing on the western side of Chelmsford and heading south with Writtle to the east of the route.  The route continues south passing between Brentwood and Billericay and to the west of Basildon.  Ending to the east of Thurrock and connecting into the existing substation at Tilbury. 

Why can’t we parallel with the existing line in this area?

When considering how to route a new line between Norwich and Tilbury, we looked at siting the new pylons close to the existing ones where there are existing routes. Our studies showed that we would need to divert around numerous existing homes and woodland which would require more robust angle pylons with additional visual and environmental effects. We feel the corridor we have put forward would have less impact.   

Why did we present a preferred corridor option at this consultation?

There are often a number of different ways that we could satisfy the need for a new connection, perhaps involving different locations, technologies or designs. Each time a new connection is needed, we have to make judgements about the best way to achieve it. 

In most cases a single preferred option will be identified. However, where it is not possible or appropriate to narrow down the selection to one preferred option, then more than one option may be taken forward. One option may perform better on technical and environmental grounds than another, but at much higher cost. In those cases, we need to make a judgement as to whether the additional benefits of the more expensive option justify the additional cost.   

Prior to our non-statutory consultation a number of strategic and routeing options for East Anglia GREEN were identified and evaluated.   These options were identified as being appropriate to achieve the required reinforcement and included consideration of onshore routes, offshore and subsea options.   

We will generally consider options to have an advantage if:  

  • we can use or adapt existing infrastructure, or where we can negotiate different commercial arrangements with our customers to achieve a need, rather than building new infrastructure 
  • they are shorter, compared with longer routes  
  • they are financially less expensive compared to other more expensive options 
  • they avoid or mitigate environmental or socio-economic impacts. 

We then compared the technically feasible options to inform the selection of preferred option(s).  

The option we have taken forward best meets the technical and physical/geographical constraints and enables the network to operate to the required standards.  More information on these options and the process of consideration can be found in our Corridor Preliminary Routeing and Siting Study, available to view here - https://www.nationalgrid.com/electricity-transmission/document/142461/download

We will continue to back-check and review the performance of all our options at each stage of our proposals to understand if there has been a material change  

Why can’t we add capacity to the existing pylon lines?

We are already carrying out work to achieve more capability by upgrading and strengthening the existing network. In East Anglia and in the first half of this decade, we are:  

  • installing power control devices at key substations in the region – at Pelham, Rye House and Waltham Cross, to make more use of an existing route to the west of the region  

  • increasing the voltage of a section of line from Waltham Cross south into London to 400 kV to increase the capability of that part of the network into the capital   

  • re-wiring existing overhead lines with conductors that can carry more power – for example on the existing overhead lines from Bramford to Braintree to Rayleigh to Tilbury, Twinstead and Pelham and between Norwich and Bramford.   

Making these improvements will increase the capability of the existing network, but it will still be insufficient to deliver the capability that National Grid ESO advises is required to deliver cleaner, greener energy to homes and businesses beyond the region in line with Government ambitions.  

The existing pylons cannot be further adapted safely and securely to enable them to carry more power or additional conductors (wires) to take the amount of power being proposed in East Anglia. 

Where are we proposing to build pylons or underground cables?

We are proposing to build pylons from Norwich Main substation to the existing substation at Bramford, Suffolk.  We are also proposing pylons to make the connection from Bramford to the proposed new substation near Lawford and through to the substation at Tilbury, save with a section of underground cable through the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a small section of underground cable as approach the existing substation at Tilbury.  We have not identified locations to transition from the overhead line to underground and this work will be carried out over the next year and further work will be presented as part of our statutory consultation in 2023. 

Where will the cable sealing end compounds be where underground cables transition to overhead lines?

We are still at an early stage of the project and have not yet identified locations for where the cables will transition to overhead outside the Dedham Vale AONB.    

Where the transition is made from underground to overhead line, we will need to build a cable sealing end compound to ensure that the transition can be made safely (this is likely to be roughly 50m by 50m in size. We will need to carry out further assessment work to identify suitable locations and we will present more information at the next round of consultation.         

Our appraisals will include considerations of landscape and visual, cultural heritage and ecology. We will carefully consider views to and from the AONB to find an appropriate location for the transition.   

The compound would be fenced and would be subject to screening works, including planting around the perimeter. Once the cables have been laid, the land above will be able to return to normal agricultural use as the cables are buried approximately a meter below the ground. Hedgerows would be reinstated but trees would not be able to be planted over the cable as their roots could interfere with the cables' operation.    

Why do we need to build a substation on the Tendring Peninsula?

We need to connect two new offshore windfarms to the national transmission network.  These new windfarms are being developed by North Falls Offshore Windfarm Limited and Five Estuaries Offshore wind farm respectively.  Both windfarms are sited off the East Anglia coast and need connection to the network to take the power that they will generate to the homes and businesses where it will be used.  

Where will the new substation be located?

Before a route away from Bramford substation was identified, a number of potential locations for the connection substation were considered. The Tendring Peninsula is bounded by estuaries to the north and south-west which, along with Hamford Water to the east, are internationally protected for wildlife. The windfarm export cables will come ashore to align to the area, nominally between Clacton and Frinton-on-Sea. There is currently an existing 132 kV line in the middle of the area, between substations near Lawford and Clacton.      

Our preferred connection substation site is in the vicinity of the existing 132 kV substation to the south of Lawford. The site, when considered with the electrical connections required to it (two 400 kV lines and windfarm export cables), is preferred in terms of ecology, landscape impact, technical considerations and cost. This is because as it is furthest from the protected wildlife sites, and as such is less likely to affect the bird populations in this location.    

How tall will the proposed pylons be?

We are proposing using standard steel lattice pylons which are approximately 45 - 50 m in height. Taller pylons may be required in some locations depending on the local topography and also to avoid sensitive features. 

How many pylons are you proposing throughout the whole route?

We are still at an early stage of the project and need to carry out more detailed assessments before we can confirm where and how many pylons are needed. 

Why can’t we put the new connection under the sea?

Offshore solutions were considered as part of our strategic proposal to upgrade the network in East Anglia. The Corridor and Preliminary Routeing and Siting Report examines several strategic options that were considered for East Anglia GREEN that might achieve the required reinforcement including offshore and subsea options. These options were not taken forward as they did not fully address technical or physical/geographical constraints, or enable the network to operate to the required standards.   

A subsea connection would have a third of the capacity of the proposed overhead connection and therefore to transfer the anticipated levels of power generation, three subsea connections would be required including associated infrastructure such as convertor stations. This would make the connection significantly costlier to energy bill payers.  

In addition, an offshore option would still require development of onshore infrastructure.  This would include onshore connections from Norwich. Bramford and Tilbury respectively to the coast.   The onshore work is required to reinforce the existing onshore transmission network and ensure that we can continue to operate the transmission network safely and securely with the increase of generation connecting into the East Anglia area. 

Can we use subsea cables for this project?

We understand that most people prefer a connection in the sea, particularly because of the benefits it would have for the landscape and views. However, the impacts to the marine environment are equally important when considering using subsea connections and must be evaluated fully. We look at a number of options when considering a new connection, and if appropriate to geographical location (proximity to the coast) we will consider and evaluate offshore alternatives. As the cost of all connections ultimately goes onto the electricity bills of domestic and business consumers, the UK government and our regulator Ofgem require us to develop proposals which represent value for money to consumers. Often subsea cables can be more expensive and do not meet our regulatory duties to provide value to consumers or prove the most effective way to get electricity to the onshore consumers located away from the coast. Our evaluation of the alternatives for this project found that subsea options do not represent the best value or most effective way to deliver the electricity needed by our homes, businesses, or transport. 

As part of our solution in East Anglia we are proposing an offshore reinforcement in East Anglia (Sea Link), along with other additional onshore electricity lines such as the Bramford to Twinstead reinforcement. These reinforcements alone do not deliver the additional capacity required to the network in the region.    

Why can’t you place the new line entirely underground?

We are required under the Electricity Act 1989, to find a balance, developing proposals that are efficient, coordinated and economical, and which have regard to people and places. Each network upgrade must be considered on its individual merits, as required in planning law. 
 
The national policy statement (NPS) which covers building electricity networks infrastructure (EN-5) states that the government expects overhead lines will often be appropriate. It does, however, recognise that there will be cases where this is not so, for example, at particularly sensitive locations, where potential adverse landscape and visual impacts of an overhead line may make it unacceptable in planning terms, taking account of the specific local environment and context.    
 
National Grid’s duties and obligations include balancing the need to be economic and efficient, which includes keeping costs down in the interests of the bill-paying consumers, with a duty to have regard to preserving amenity, which includes the natural environment, cultural heritage, landscape and visual quality.   
 
Our proposals include underground cable within the Dedham Vale AONB.  

Why are we proposing lattice pylons and not T-pylons which are smaller and less intrusive on the landscape?

We are proposing the standard lattice pylons for the connection at this time.  As we progress the project and start to look at an alignment for the connection, we will consider pylon choice.  This will include use of the standard lattice pylon and alternative pylon designs at particularly sensitive locations to reduce the visual impact. 

Alternative designs include the new mono-pole ‘T-pylon’ which is being used on the Hinkley Connection Project, and lower-height lattice pylons, which are lower but wider versions of the regular lattice designs.   

We are showing photographs of different pylon designs at the events and we welcome any feedback on different pylon designs. We will consider how we can mitigate for the visual effects of an overhead line including use of different pylons during the next stage of project development.

Further information on pylon types will be available at our next consultation in 2023. Pylon types for consideration may include standard lattice, low height lattice and T pylons.      

 

Can I see the exact locations for where all of the pylons will be?

We are still at an early stage of the project and need to carry out more detailed assessments before we can confirm where and how many pylons are needed.   

How long will the new pylons last?

The pylons are designed to have a minimum lifespan of 40 years, subject to annual inspection. Refurbishment could extend the lifespan of pylons.  

Why are you taking pylons down in other parts of the country (VIP)

The existing high voltage transmission network was developed in the 1950/60s. Planning policy since that time has changed significantly and allows for greater protection of valued landscapes such as AONBs and National Parks. Recognising this, Ofgem have made available funding of £500m to carry out work to reduce the impact of existing transmission lines in English and Welsh AONBs and National Parks.  The first of these funded projects are Dorset, Snowdonia and the Peak District.   

East Anglia GREEN is being developed in accordance with the current NPS, which covers building electricity networks infrastructure (EN-5) and which states that the government expects overhead lines will often be appropriate. It does, however, recognise that there will be cases where this is not, for example, at particularly sensitive locations, where potential adverse landscape and visual impacts of an overhead line may make it unacceptable in planning terms, taking account of the specific local environment and context.   

Our proposals include underground cable within the Dedham Vale AONB.  

What is the voltage and the maximum power that the proposed cables are designed to carry?

The proposed reinforcement is at 400 kV and the power rating is 6GW.

How do you consider the cumulative impact of your projects and other developer’s projects?

The current proposals for the Bramford to Twinstead reinforcement were included in our initial baseline assessments. At our statutory consultation in 2023, we will publish the Environmental Impact Assessment for East Anglia GREEN. This will include a cumulative effects assessment, which will consider the cumulative effects between the East Anglia GREEN reinforcement and other proposed developments in the area, including the Bramford to Twinstead reinforcement. 

When is construction planned to start and finish?

Further assessment and design will take place over the next year and we will consult on our proposals again in 2023.  We will then need to do a full environmental impact assessment and further refine the design and plan to submit an application for a development consent order to the Planning Inspectorate in 2024.  If we are granted consent we will be starting work on site in 2026 with further site survey and construction work will commence in 2027 and is projected to be complete at the end of 2030 to enable the new connection to be operational from early 2031. 

How we develop projects 

Who decides what needs to be built?

The System Operator, National Grid ESO, leads an annual process looking at how the electricity transmission network might need to adapt to likely changes to where the electricity we all use will come from. That starts with stakeholder discussions and analysis about potential Future Energy Scenarios which are published each summer. The System Operator takes those different scenarios and looks at what that might mean for the transmission network over the next ten years, publishing an Electricity Ten Year Statement each November. The transmission network owners, including National Grid Electricity Transmission, respond to the issues outlined in the Electricity Ten Year Statement with suggestions as to how those can be addressed. Then in January each year, National Grid ESO publishes a document known as the Network Options Assessment (NOA), which outlines their recommendations as to which reinforcement projects should be taken forward during the coming year to meet the future network requirements. 

A need was identified to resolve electrical boundary issues in East Anglia.  There are three onshore power boundaries where additional system flexibility is required to ensure that power generated in the area from offshore windfarms and nuclear generation has more ways to flow into the wider transmission network during maintenance or faults on the system.   

In addition, two new offshore windfarms off the Suffolk/Essex coast need to be connected to the transmission network to transport the low carbon energy they will produce to the homes and businesses where it will be used. 

The NOA 2021 identified need for an upgrade to the existing line in East Anglia in all future energy scenarios and this was confirmed in NOA 22. You can read more about the latest NOA report here

Why aren’t offshore solutions being considered?  

Offshore solutions were considered as part of our strategic proposal to upgrade the network in East Anglia. The Corridor and Preliminary Routeing and Siting Report examines several strategic options that were considered for East Anglia GREEN that might achieve the required reinforcement including offshore and subsea options. These options were not taken forward as they did not fully address technical or physical/geographical constraints, or enable the network to operate to the required standards.   

A subsea connection would have a third of the capacity of the proposed overhead connection and therefore to transfer the anticipated levels of power generation, two/three subsea connections would be required including associated infrastructure such as convertor stations. This would make the connection significantly costlier to energy bill payers.  

In addition, an offshore option would still require development of onshore infrastructure.  This would include onshore connections from Norwich. Bramford and Tilbury respectively to the coast.   The onshore work is required to reinforce the existing on shore transmission network and ensure that we can continue to operate the transmission network safely and securely with the increase of generation connecting into the East Anglia area. 

Why are we not building an offshore ring main or waiting for the outcome of the HND?

The Network Options Assessment (NOA) 2021/22 reconfirms that East Anglia Green is critical in all future energy scenarios. The System Operator also explains in NOA 2021/22 (pg. 5), that the need for critical reinforcements such as this project are likely to be reinforced by the Holistic Network Design (HND).  

A refreshed NOA is expected to be published by the System Operator in June 2022 alongside publication of the HND. The HND, supported by National Grid Electricity Transmission, is being produced to ensure that all energy network infrastructure is designed and coordinated considering economic, environmental and community impacts. If there is a shift in policy in light of this study, we will reflect this in our proposals. 

Our project is required to increase network capacity across multiple onshore power flow boundaries and the option we have taken forward provides a very low economic cost per MW compared to the multiple offshore HVDC links that would be required to match the capacity of this option. EAG crosses three onshore power boundaries, but being onshore it also connects into our Bramford substation roughly halfway along the route. This allows additional system flexibility that would not be delivered by a pure subsea connection. The advantages are that there are more ways the power can flow into the wider transmission network during maintenance or faults on the system.  The onshore proposal has more linkages to the rest of the network as well as being economically lower cost to deliver. 

How do we select the preferred corridor for a new onshore connection?

Routeing studies are carried out to identify broad potential corridors for the new transmission route. Similar siting studies are carried out to identify suitable locations for infrastructure, such as substations or converter stations if required. When routeing overhead lines, we apply the Holford Rules and start to consider the types of mitigation that could offset any landscape or visual effects.  

The studies carried out to this point, are used to identify the preferred route corridor or corridors. In cases where we have previously chosen a predominantly overhead option, we may propose a fully overhead corridor or a route corridor which is a mixture of overhead and underground technologies, depending upon the constraints identified. Candidates for undergrounding might include: locations with physical difficulties in constructing an overhead line (such as in urban areas); wide river or estuary crossings; the presence of highly valued landscapes (which include National Parks and AONBs but could also include particularly sensitive landscapes and iconic views or areas where other potential impacts could only be mitigated by undergrounding). This is not an exhaustive list, and all projects will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If the preferred route corridor is predominantly overhead line, there will still be a continuing process of appraisal and consultation as the project develops, as a result of which we may propose undergrounding certain sections of the route.   

We will continue to backcheck and review our decisions at each stage and as we review consultation feedback and will publish how feedback has informed the shape of the project when we submit an application for planning consent. 

How does consultation feedback influence the design of our projects?

Obtaining valuable stakeholder feedback is crucial to us developing the right project in the right location. Our process and approach ensure we take into account information at the right time to shape and influence our proposals.  

For DCO projects, there is an obligation for us to demonstrate how we have taken feedback into account in developing the project. We explain this within our consultation feedback report, which will accompany our DCO application.  

The planning process

Do we need planning permission for East Anglia GREEN?

There are three types of consenting regime:  

  • DCO which is for new overhead lines longer than 2km in length. 

  • Town and Country planning permission for substations (we can use permitted development rights for some works).  

  • Electricity Act consent for certain overhead line works less than 2km in length (we can use certain exemption regulations).  

The new connection will be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, which requires the consent of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Before we apply for consent, we’ll be consulting local stakeholders and scrutinising the feedback we receive to help shape our proposals. The Planning Inspectorate will then consider our application and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State, who ultimately decides whether consent should be granted.  

What is a Development Consent Order (DCO)?

Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) are major infrastructure developments in England and Wales that require government approval rather than local authority approval. For National Grid Electricity Transmission, this is for new overhead lines which are over 2km in length.  

A Development Consent Order (DCO) application is required for an NSIP project. The application is made to the Planning Inspectorate, who hold hearings to examine the proposals and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State. The minister will decide on whether development consent should be granted for the proposed project.  

In addition to development consent, a DCO can contain powers for compulsory acquisition, the need for which will be considered as part of the examination of the DCO.  

NSIPs are consented under the Planning Act, which requires mandatory pre-application consultation which we will undertake for all DCO projects.  

How does the DCO application process work?

The Development Consent Order process has six key stages:  

  • pre-application  

  • acceptance 

  • pre-examination  

  • examination  

  • decision  

  • post-decision  

On receipt of an application for development consent, the Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to decide whether to accept it or not. There is then usually a period of around 3-4 months before the examination starts, and then a period of up to six months for the Planning Inspectorate to examine an application and up to three months for the Planning Inspectorate to make its recommendation to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has a further period of up to three months in which to issue a decision. The whole process from the date of application should take about 15-18 months.  

For more information, please see The Planning Inspectorate’s guide to the DCO process.  

What process does National Grid take in developing a project?

National Grid undertakes a multi-phase process to ensure that stakeholder feedback helps shape the location and design of our projects. 

Our process meets the requirements of the planning act and statutory duties and our commitments when developing infrastructure projects, which are set out in our Stakeholder, Community and Amenity policy.  

For more information, please see our Approach to Options Appraisal document.  

How does National Grid consult with the public?

Before we formally consult the public, we discuss how we plan to do that with the local authorities so that they can comment on how, when and with whom, to ensure local concerns are addressed. If the project requires a DCO, we then set out our approach at the statutory consultation stage in a Statement of Community Consultation.  

We have our approach to consenting which is developed for DCO projects but is similar for town and country planning applications.  

For more information, please see our Approach to Consenting and Stakeholder, Community and Amenity document.  

How will feedback be taken into account?

Obtaining valuable stakeholder feedback is crucial to us developing the right project in the right location. Our process and approach ensure we take into account information at the right time to shape and influence our proposals.  

For DCO projects, there is an obligation for us to demonstrate how we have taken feedback into account in developing the project. We explain this within our consultation feedback report, which will accompany our DCO application.  

Once the application has been submitted, can I still respond?

Once the application for development consent has been submitted and the project is in the pre-examination stage of the Development Consent Order process, the public will be able to register with the Planning Inspectorate to become an interested party and they are able to make a relevant representation.  

For more information, please see The Planning Inspectorate’s guide to how to participate.  

Do pylons (overhead lines, substations) affect house prices?

House prices depend on a number of different factors – it is difficult to single out any one factor that will affect house prices. We do recognise that the visual impact of any new overhead line is likely to be a significant issue for many local communities, so we always try to avoid communities and individual properties as much as possible.  

Why doesn’t National Grid compensate people for a loss of view?

UK law does not require us to compensate for loss of view. However, we do recognise that the visual impact of any new overhead line is likely to be a significant issue for many local communities, so we always try to avoid communities and individual properties as much as possible. 

Is there a prescribed minimum distance between properties and overhead lines?

UK law does not prescribe any minimum distance between overhead lines and properties. However, National Grid’s approach to routeing new overhead lines is to try to avoid communities and individual properties as much as possible and maximise the distance between proposed new overhead lines and properties.  

National Grid will always ensure minimum electrical distances from overhead lines.

Public consultation

What have we consulted on so far?

We held our first stage of consultation in spring 2022. This non-statutory public consultation was to seek feedback on our preferred corridor and graduated swathe, along with the preferred location of the proposed new substation in Tendring District. 

What documents are available to read?

To support the non-statutory consultation we produced the following documents which are available to view in our document library: 

  • Project Background Document  – providing an overview of the project and detailing our proposals and how we are consulting 
  • Corridor Preliminary Routeing and Siting report – providing more technical information on the project and the need for the project, the options considered, the routing and siting options assessed and our preferred options 
  • overview map and individual route section maps showing the location of the preferred route and the graduated swathe 
  • newsletter summarising details of the project and public consultation 
  • response form – to gather comments and feedback. 
How does National Grid consult with the public?

Before we formally consult the public, we discuss how we plan to do that with the local authorities so that they can comment on how, when and with whom, to ensure local concerns are addressed. If the project requires a DCO, we then set out our approach at the statutory consultation stage in a Statement of Community Consultation.  

We have our approach to consenting which is developed for DCO projects but is similar for town and country planning applications.  

For more information, please see our Approach to Consenting and Stakeholder, Community and Amenity document.  

What happens after the consultation?

After the close of the non-statutory consultation, we will send a newsletter to the stakeholders in our Primary Consultation Zone, and any other stakeholders that have been asked to be kept updated on the consultation, to outline the feedback numbers and overall themes of the consultation. 

The feedback received during the non-statutory consultation will inform how the East Anglia GREEN project is developed prior to our next stage of statutory consultation in 2023. 

In 2023 we will hold another round of consultation which will show how we have developed the design of the project further and we will set out how your feedback has influenced our decision-making. This will be the statutory consultation in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act 2008.   

After we have completed the statutory consultation, we will collate and analyse all feedback received and take this into account as we refine the Project design. We will then prepare and publish a Consultation Report, which will summarise the feedback we have received and outline how we carried out both the non-statutory and statutory consultations. 

Consultation is important to us as to allow members of the public to influence the way project is developed by providing feedback and to help local people understand better what a particular project means for them, so that concerns resulting from misunderstandings are resolved early.  It also helps to identify potential mitigating measures to be considered and, in some cases, built into the project before an application is submitted.    

How will feedback be taken into account?

Obtaining valuable stakeholder feedback is crucial to us developing the right project in the right location. Our process and approach ensure we take into account information at the right time to shape and influence our proposals. 

For DCO projects, there is an obligation for us to demonstrate how we have taken feedback into account in developing the project. We explain this within our consultation feedback report, which will accompany our DCO application.  

Will there be further chances to provide comments?

In 2023 we will hold another round of consultation. We will show how we have developed the design of the project further and how your feedback has influenced our decision-making. This will be the statutory consultation in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act 2008. If following the statutory consultation further changes need to be made to the project, we may carry out further targeted statutory consultation. 

Once the application for development consent has been submitted and the project is in the pre-examination stage of the Development Consent Order process, the public will be able to register with the Planning Inspectorate to become an interested party and they are able to make a relevant representation.  

For more information, please see The Planning Inspectorate’s guide to how to participate. 

Once the application has been submitted, can I still respond?

Once the application for development consent has been submitted and the project is in the pre-examination stage of the Development Consent Order process, the public will be able to register with the Planning Inspectorate to become an interested party and they are able to make a relevant representation.  

For more information, please see The Planning Inspectorate’s guide to how to participate.  

Environment and sustainability

What is net zero?

Net zero refers to achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. The term net zero is important because – for CO2 at least – this is the state at which global warming stops.  

In 2015, the UK Government adopted The Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries are working towards net zero to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century.  

In 2019 government, the UK government became the first major economy in the world to enshrine in law its commitment to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. The target will require the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, compared with the previous target of at least 80% reduction from 1990 levels. 

How does National Grid help the UK’s journey to net zero?

The Government has made it clear that a key part of the pandemic recovery is building back cleaner and greener. The UK has set a world-leading target to tackle climate change, which is to achieve Net Zero by 2050. Put simply, this means that we remove the same amount of greenhouse gas from the atmosphere as we produce.  

Growth in the amount of energy generated from offshore wind is a key part of achieving Net Zero and the Government’s Energy White Paper sets an ambitious target to deliver 40 GW of offshore wind connected to the network by 2030 – enough to power every home in the UK. National Grid will play a vital role, ensuring that the high-voltage network can carry this cleaner, greener energy across the country to where it is needed. 

Growth in offshore wind also offers significant opportunities for economic growth and job creation. There are up to 60,000 jobs expected to be created in the offshore wind sector alone in this decade, and up to 250,000 jobs by 2030 across the proposals in the Government's ‘Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’. By 2050, our own analysis indicates that the energy sector needs to fill around 400,000 jobs to build the Net zero energy workforce.  

The Climate Change Committee anticipate the demand for low-carbon electricity will at least double by 2050 from 2019 levels as we shift to clean energy to drive electric vehicles, heat our homes and power our industry. The Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget published in December 2020 recommends deploying 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030, rising to maybe as much as 140 GW of offshore wind by 2050.  

Our mission at National Grid is to support these aims. We believe by acting now, the UK can become the world’s first major clean economy, with net zero carbon emissions by 2050, creating growth and jobs for communities across Great Britain. 

Whilst the biggest impact we can have is supporting the economy-wide clean energy transition, it is important that we also reduce emissions from our own operations. Our work involves building and maintaining the electricity transmission network. In our role as an infrastructure business, it is vital that we decarbonise our own network. We want to operate in an environmentally sustainable way because we know that it’s the right thing to do – for society, the environment and our business. 

We will reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions in line with 1.5-degree science-based targets - 34% reduction by 2026, 50% reduction by 2030 from a 2018 baseline and we will be net zero by 2050. We will also deliver carbon neutral construction by 2026. 

How will you protect the environment?

At the beginning of each reinforcement and as we plan the work, we carefully consider potential environmental effects to ensure that we avoid or reduce potential significant effects on the environment. We will consult with local authorities in the area, alongside the Environment Agency, Natural England, Historic England, landowners and other relevant stakeholders and organisations. What these groups tell us and the feedback we receive through the consultations will help us to carefully plan our proposals and how we carry out the works.  

Our Environmental Action Plan is our handbook which details our ambitions to further reduce our carbon emissions, reduce our resource use, improve our natural environment and demonstrate leadership for change.  

Please find the link for the Environmental Action Plan in the ‘More Detailed Information’ section. 

How will National Grid minimise the impact of a construction project on the environment and local ecosystem?

National Grid will always consider and assess the likely significant environmental effects of our projects. In some cases, National Grid will complete an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The EIA includes a number of baseline studies which tell us about the baseline environment within the area and this factors into our design and decision-making process, so that we seek to avoid and reduce impacts on the environment. In other instances, we will include information about the appraisal of likely significant environmental effects and how those will be addressed, with our consent applications. 

What is meant by biodiversity net gain?

The term biodiversity net gain means increasing the amount of biodiversity in an area than currently exists.  

National Grid value nature and will protect and enhance it where possible using ‘natural capital’ and ‘net gain’ principles. National Grid has made a commitment to deliver at least 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG) where we are planning new network reinforcements, and where possible we aspire to achieve a 15% net gain. This means that the habitat value for wildlife will be increased by at least 10% once the reinforcement is complete, compared to what currently exists. On our projects we work with appointed technical specialists, environmental organisations and landowners to identify potential opportunities for delivering environmental gains. 

Has there been any investigation into the local wildlife that may be impacted by this construction project?

We will carry out environmental surveys, including habitat surveys and protected species surveys and the results will help inform the design and decision-making process as we finalise our plans for the reinforcement. We will always consider likely significant impacts to habitats and species and any measures required to mitigate or reduce the effects. National Grid || Environmental Sustainability Issue 2: March 2022 4 For major projects, the results of our wildlife assessment will be presented within the Environmental Statement, which will be submitted with the application for development consent. The initial results of the assessment will be found in the Preliminary Environmental Information Report published as part of the statutory consultation material. 

Where can I find out more about National Grid’s commitments to the environment?

National Grid Electricity Transmission Environmental Action Plan – https://www.nationalgrid.com/uk/electricity-transmission/document/136551/download 

National Grid Electricity Transmission Stakeholder, Community and Amenity Policy - https://www.nationalgrid.com/uk/electricity-transmission/document/81026/download 

National Grid, Responsibility - https://www.nationalgrid.com/responsibility 

Construction impacts

What will the impact be on local traffic?

As we develop the proposals for the project we will consider potential effects on local traffic and will provide information on this at our next consultation. 

To support our application for a Development Consent Order we will prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment which will consider traffic and transport effects of our defined proposals.  We will also prepare an Outline Construction Traffic Management Plan will be prepared as part of the application for Development Consent. This will set out the good practice measures proposed to further reduce impacts on the local road network and traffic. It will include measures providing clear signage to make sure our construction traffic uses the agreed routes and construction workers using public transport and car sharing where practicable. We emphasise to our employees and contractors the special care that they need to take when driving to and from the areas we are working in. 

How will the noise of the construction impact local residents?

We will carry out a noise assessment to support our application for a Development Consent Order, which will identify areas where there could be the potential for significant noise effects. In these areas, there may be the need for mitigation such as noise barriers to reduce noise during construction. Further details will be set out within the Outline Construction Environmental Management Plan submitted with the application for development consent. 

Will the construction result in air pollution that will disrupt local residents?

There is likely to be some effects on air quality during construction due to the number of construction vehicles and equipment including generators. Dust may also be generated during construction, due to soil stripping and vehicles tracking on the haul routes. The good practice measures set out within the Outline Code of Construction Practice, such as turning off machinery when not in use and locating equipment away from sensitive features, would reduce the effects on air quality. With such measures in place, there are unlikely to be any significant effects on air quality during construction. 

Will there be local power cuts or interruptions to our electricity supply whilst the works are carried out?

No. The work will have no impact on your electricity supply. The work that we need to carry out is on part of the national transmission system and will have no direct effect on homes, businesses, schools and other premises in the local area.  

Will you close any roads or footpaths?

For the safety of members of the public and our contractors we may need to close some public rights of way and roads temporarily when carrying out work. We will seek to provide alternative diversions and to keep the closure as short as practicable. The closures and any required diversions will be agreed with the local authorities and clearly communicated to local people. 

Socio economics and community benefits

Tourism is a mainstay of the local economy and your proposal will have a severe impact in socio-economic terms. How do you factor that in your decision-making about which option to take forward?

When reinforcement to the network is needed, we carefully assess the impact this could have on local people, communities and the local economy. In determining where new connections and infrastructure may be situated, we try to avoid or reduce adverse impacts. We analyse the possible effects of new infrastructure on local economic activity, traffic and transport, and aviation and defence, and we take account of a wide range of environmental factors, including sites, areas and features of tourism value. 

Will the construction and running of the new infrastructure bring employment opportunities to the area?

National Grid are at the heart of the UK’s transition to a clean, green electricity network. During construction, we will work with our suppliers to develop opportunities for local employment and to bring benefit to the local economy through our projects. There are also huge opportunities in the renewable energy sector that our proposals support.  

As the Government explain in the Energy White Paper, fighting climate change offers huge opportunity for growth and job creation. The global markets for low-carbon technologies, electric vehicles and clean energy are fast growing. The Government estimate zero emission vehicles could support 40,000 jobs by 2030 and 40 GW of offshore wind in the same period will support up to 60,000 jobs. Altogether the UK Government’s Net Zero Strategy sets out a vision that will support up to 440,000 jobs by 2030 and see every home in the country powered by offshore wind. Our own analysis in our Job That Can’t Wait report, shows that the country needs to fill 400,000 jobs in the energy sector in the next three decades to deliver Net Zero by 2050.  

At National Grid we are investing around £1.3 billion every year, wiring up our communities to the next generation clean electricity network, so that every household can be powered by renewable energy by 2030. Where we are delivering those network investments, aside from opportunities for local suppliers, we work with schools and local authorities to encourage the next generation of engineers and help the long term unemployed develop new skills.  

When operating in an area, we have a Community Grant Programme which offers grants to local community groups and charities. This allows local charities and not-for-profit groups to apply for support for community based initiatives that deliver social, economic, or environmental benefits.  

Is it likely that your proposals will have a severe socioeconomic impact?

We know people are concerned about the potential socioeconomic impact of our projects, and we always ensure that local concerns are addressed. However, we do not believe our project will have a severe socioeconomic impact. Independent academic study has shown that for most people and businesses living and working next to National Grid infrastructure, there is little or no socioeconomic impact from new or existing infrastructure. 

Where National Grid are building new infrastructure, how will local communities’ benefit?

We believe that business needs to stand for something more than profitability, and we are committed to leaving a lasting positive legacy for the communities in areas where we build and maintain our infrastructure. Our infrastructure projects and daily operations allow us to give back to communities who are impacted by our works through our Community Benefit Plan. The Community Benefit Plan is a framework of activities that show National Grid is listening, is committed to leaving a positive legacy and enabling an equitable future for the communities we serve.  

The Community Benefit Plan is split into four distinct pillars, each comprising several initiatives and schemes. These pillars are: 

  •  Grid for Nature - Develop green space for local and deprived communities to use and enjoy. Consists of the Woodland Strategy & Great British Bee Project initiatives, several regional/national partnerships, and green leases.  

  • Net Zero Heroes - Form strong local partnerships with stakeholders close to our projects and through our in-house expertise, to help them realise their own climate ambitions.  

  • Skills/STEM - Seek regional partnerships with suppliers to part fund the establishment of training centres and flexible training programmes to help give the next generation the skills they need to be part of the Net Zero Energy Workforce. Additionally, we will engage with schools and colleges through site visits, grants, and innovative targeted programmes that are aligned to the curriculum. 

  •  Community Benefit - Funds community projects that provide social, economic, and environmental benefits to local communities, ensuring we leave behind a positive legacy.  

The initiatives within the NGET Community Benefit Plan are also aligned to National Grid’s Responsible Business Charter, which focuses on five key areas where we can really make a difference: the environment, our communities, our people, the economy and our governance. These focus areas underpin our new strategic priorities and make sure that responsibility is woven through everything we do.  

Will any of the electricity transported through this line be used to service the local area?

This onshore work would reinforce the existing on shore transmission network and ensure that we can continue to operate the transmission network safely and securely with the increase of generation connecting in East Anglia. 

The East Anglia GREEN connection is essential to support the growth in clean green energy from North Sea offshore wind. We will all benefit from that clean green energy and some will be consumed in East Anglia.

Will the construction and running of the new infrastructure bring employment opportunities to the area?

National Grid are at the heart of the UK’s transition to a clean, green electricity network. During construction, we will work with our suppliers to develop opportunities for local employment and to bring benefit to the local economy through our projects. There are also huge opportunities in the renewable energy sector that our proposals support. As the Government explain in the Energy White Paper, fighting climate change offers huge opportunity for growth and job creation. The global markets for low-carbon technologies, electric vehicles and clean energy are fast growing. The Government estimate zero emission vehicles could support 40,000 jobs by 2030 and 40 GW of offshore wind in the same period will support up to 60,000 jobs. Altogether the UK Government’s Net Zero Strategy sets out a vision that will support up to 440,000 jobs by 2030 and see every home in the country powered by offshore wind.  

Our own analysis in our Job That Can’t Wait report, shows that the country needs to fill 400,000 jobs in the energy sector in the next three decades to deliver Net Zero by 2050. At National Grid we are investing around £1.3 billion every year, wiring up our communities to the next generation clean electricity network, so that every household can be powered by renewable energy by 2030. Where we are delivering those network investments, aside from opportunities for local suppliers, we work with schools and local authorities to encourage the next generation of engineers and help the long term unemployed develop new skills.

When operating in an area, we have a Community Grant Programme which offers grants to local community groups and charities. This allows local charities and not-for-profit groups to apply for support for community based initiatives that deliver social, economic, or environmental benefits.  

What is the National Grid Community Grant Programme?

National Grid’s Community Grant Programme is aimed at community organisations and charities in areas where National Grid’s work is impacting on local people through our operations and site activities. We fund projects run by charities and community groups that meet local community needs by providing a range of social, economic, and environmental benefits.  

What are the criteria for applying for the National Grid Community Grant Programme?

To apply for a community grant, your project must be in an area affected by our operations or activities – but your organisation may be based elsewhere. We welcome applications from registered charities, social enterprises, and non-profit organisations. For more information, please visit our Community Grant Programme page. 

What does the Community Grant Programme fund?

We support projects in the following areas:  

Social benefits  

  • Initiatives that support hard-to-reach members of the community improving diversity and inclusion.  

  • Initiatives that support community safety – from gas or electricity safety to protecting at-risk members of society including the elderly and those with special needs.  

  • Initiatives which achieve improved educational attainment through building confidence and self-esteem of children and young people.  

  • Education projects especially those that upskill young people with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) skills.  

  • Activities that promote or support health and wellbeing in the local community, for example addressing energy efficiency. Economic benefits  

  • Initiatives that support employment either through a work placement or retraining schemes which increase the employability of people from lower income communities back into the workplace. 

  • Initiatives that support capacity building for community, charity or voluntary groups to help them improve their services, whether it be reaching more users or extending the hours that the service is available.  

Environmental benefits  

  • Initiatives such as conservation projects that have a direct and positive environmental impact or awareness raising projects that improve environmental behaviour or understanding from recycling to water resource management 

  • Improvement of the energy efficiency of community facilities.  

  • Initiatives which help people to manage their energy usage and access affordable tariffs.  

What is the application process for the Community Grant Programme?

National Grid’s Community Grant Programme funds projects in communities affected by our operations. We prefer to receive applications online through our Community Grant application form but if you are unable to do this, please call our Community Helpline on 01285 841912 and they will be able to help you. We will acknowledge your application and you may be contacted by a grants officer to provide additional details. We accept applications on a quarterly basis (see timeline below). These are then checked against minimum requirements and passed on to be reviewed by a National Grid funding panel, where all applications received will be assessed and scored against evaluation criteria. The highest scoring applications will be awarded funding. You will be notified of the outcome once a decision has been made. If you are successful, we will give you further information and ask you to provide your bank details. Grants are normally paid directly into your organisation’s bank account. If you are unsuccessful, we will let you know. After 12 months, or once your project is complete, we will ask you to report back on progress, confirming how the grant has been used and the impact that has been achieved. 

Annual timeline  

Q1 Apr – Application window opens; May – Applications reviewed against criteria; June – Panel session/ decisions  

Q2 July – Application window opens; Aug - Applications reviewed against criteria; Sept - Panel session/ decisions  

Q3 Oct – Application window opens; Nov - Applications reviewed against criteria; Dec - Panel session/ decisions  

Q4 Jan – Application window opens; Feb - Applications reviewed against criteria; Mar - Panel session/ decisions  

How will National Grid ensure that Community Grant Programme funding is allocated fairly and transparently?

We have an independent panel that assesses the applications against the criteria that has been provided. This ensures that the Community Grant Fund is distributed. We report on our website any applications that have been successful and awarded. 

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs)

What are EMFs?

EMFs are electric and magnetic fields. Electric fields are produced by voltage and magnetic fields by current flowing through a conductor. Overhead lines are a source of two fields: the electric field (produced by the voltage) and the magnetic field (produced by the current). Underground cables eliminate the electric field altogether as it is screened out by the sheath around the cable, but they still produce magnetic fields. 

Where do EMFs Occur?

Background EMFs are present in most homes. They come from the house wiring, electrical appliances and the low-voltage distribution cables that carry electricity along streets.  

How common are EMFs?

EMFs are produced wherever electricity is used or transmitted. They are produced by household wiring, electrical appliances, low-voltage distribution cables that carry electricity along streets and by high voltage power lines and substations.  

What’s the difference between an electric and magnetic field?

Electric fields depend on the operating voltage of the equipment producing them and are measured in V/m (Volts per metre). The voltage applied to equipment is a relatively constant value. Electric fields are shielded by most common building materials, trees, and fences. Electric fields diminish rapidly with distance from the source.   

Magnetic fields depend on the electrical currents flowing, which vary according to the electrical power requirement at any given time and are measured in μT (microteslas). They are not significantly shielded by most common building materials or trees. Magnetic fields diminish rapidly with distance from the source.

Are there any health risks associated with overhead lines and underground cables?

National Grid takes the issue of health very seriously and relies on authoritative and independent scientific organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), to review the worldwide body of scientific evidence on electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) and health, as well as reviewing the science ourselves.  

Health considerations are given a high priority in the process by which we arrive at any proposals for new routes for electricity connections. Our approach is to ensure that all our assets comply with the guidelines set by Government on advice from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). A vast amount of research has been done into the possibility of health effects, without establishing any risks below these levels.  

What measures does National Grid take to ensure the public is protected from the effects of EMFs?

National Grid takes the issue of health very seriously. We believe it is right that the decision on what is acceptable or not is made independently of industry. Accordingly, we design all our equipment, overhead lines, cables, and substations to comply with the UK Health Security Agency’s recommended exposure guidelines. A vast amount of research has been done into the possibility of health effects, without establishing any risks below these levels.  

What further information and/or research is available to the public on EMFs?

Further information is available in the booklet ‘EMFs; The Facts’ published by The Energy Networks Association (ENA) and on the dedicated National Grid EMFs website www.emfs.info. You can also contact National Grid’s EMF helpline on 0845 702 3270 or by email at [email protected].  

Are overhead lines safe?

The safety of the public, local communities and our employees is central to everything that National Grid does. All our equipment is designed to comply with the Government Guidelines and policies for EMFs. There has been debate about the effects of EMFs which are produced wherever electricity is used. Overhead lines are one source of EMFs, but equally electrical appliances and cabling in our homes also produce EMFs and underground cables produce magnetic fields. National Grid fully recognises people’s concerns and takes this issue very seriously. We follow guidance given by the Government and authoritative independent scientific organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), to ensure public safety and that our equipment complies with the appropriate independent safety standards. 

Will Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMFs) from your project cause interference to electrical equipment?

Household electrical equipment should not be affected by the proposal. National Grid’s equipment is designed to comply with the electromagnetic compatibility regulations (EMC Directive). Under normal operation high voltage electricity equipment should not affect radio frequency equipment.  

In cases where it is reported that National Grid equipment is thought to be causing interference with other electrical equipment, National Grid will investigate and advise. In the unlikely event that National Grid equipment is demonstrated to be the cause of interference, remedial actions will be investigated.  

Have the possible health effects of EMFs for those living and working in close proximity to high voltage power lines been properly assessed by National Grid?

Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are produced wherever electricity is used, and there have been suggestions that exposure to these fields might be a cause of ill health. National Grid takes this issue very seriously and relies on authoritative and independent scientific organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and UK Health Security Agency (formally Public Health England) to review the worldwide body of scientific evidence on EMFs and health as well as reviewing the science ourselves. We believe it is right that the decision on what is acceptable or not is made independently of National Grid.   

Health considerations are given a high priority in the process by which we arrive at any proposals for new electricity circuits. Assessment of compliance with national guidance and policies is key to our approach. The UK has a carefully thought-out set of policies for managing EMFs. These policies are incorporated into the decision-making process for Development Consent in National Policy Statement EN-5. Our approach is to ensure that all our assets comply with those policies, which are set by Government on the advice of their independent advisors the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). This will be fully documented and submitted as part of the consent application documentation.  

What are the distances to property and exposures that are acceptable for people and animals who will have to live beside the line, and/or is there a prescribed minimum distance between properties and overhead lines?

UK law does not prescribe any minimum distance between overhead lines and homes. National Grid complies with guidelines set by the government regarding exposure to electric and magnetic fields.  

National Grid regards compliance with these as a key part of ensuring the health and safety of the public. Both fields diminish rapidly with distance from the source and National Grid are committed to openly documenting compliance with these guideline levels and submitted as part to the consent application to ensure that exposure levels at local properties are within the guideline levels.  

All our assets including all overhead lines are designed to comply with the relevant exposure guidelines, which are adopted by the Government acting on the advice of the UK Health Security Agency. This is the principal way in which any risk from EMFs is managed.  

National Grid’s position on whether any action is appropriate to reduce exposures further is set out in our Public Position Statement:  

“We support the view of regulators and governments that the EMF issue warrants consideration for a precautionary approach and we look to them to decide on any measures that may be necessary, as they can evaluate the science and weigh up costs and benefits on behalf of society as a whole.  

To mitigate the amenity impact of new overhead transmission lines, we always endeavour to route them: 

  • along formal Rights of Way in countries where they exist; or 

  • away from existing buildings where they do not.  

To ensure safety clearances and to help us maintain our network, we do not encourage built development immediately beneath our lines. We will work with planning bodies to promote the sustainable use of land under our lines. These steps will usually result in EMF exposures being lower than would otherwise be the case.”  

A stakeholder group (SAGE) reviewed what precautionary measures should be adopted in light of the science at a national level and provided advice to Government.  UK Government has adopted the SAGE recommendation in respect of optimal phasing to reduce exposures from high-voltage power lines.  National Grid will ensure that all new overhead lines comply with this precautionary policy. 

Is it safer to bury cables underground?

High-voltage underground cables produce magnetic fields in the same way that overhead lines do, although the fields fall more quickly with distance as you move away from the cable. Directly above an underground cable there will often be a higher magnetic field than will be found under an equivalent overhead line.  

Irrespective of the technology used, National Grid will always ensure that all its equipment is designed to comply with any appropriate safety standards i.e. the exposure limits advised by and adopted by Government.  

There are concerns that EMFs may cause childhood leukaemia. What evidence is there to suggest that EMFs are linked to childhood leukaemia?

Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are produced wherever electricity is used, and there have been suggestions that exposure to these fields might be a cause of ill health. National Grid fully recognises people’s concerns and the uncertain scientific position on this subject.  

National Grid takes this issue very seriously and relies on authoritative and independent scientific organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and in the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)to review the worldwide body of scientific evidence on EMFs and health rather than relying on its own assessment of the science. We believe it is right that the decision on what is acceptable or not is made independently of National Grid.  

Health considerations are given a high priority in the process by which we arrive at any proposals for new electricity circuits. Assessment of compliance with national guidance and policies is key to our approach. The UK has a carefully thought-out set of policies for managing EMFs, which includes both numerical exposure guidelines to protect against established, acute effects of EMFs, and precautionary policies to provide appropriate protection against the possibility of chronic effects of EMFs at lower levels, including, specifically, the possibility of a risk for childhood leukaemia. These policies are incorporated into the decision-making process for Development Consent in National Policy Statement EN-5.   

Our approach is to ensure that all our assets comply with those policies, which are set by Government on the advice of their independent advisors UKHSA. This ensures that health concerns are properly and adequately addressed. The evidence concerning compliance with these policies as specified in EN-5, including the numerical guidelines will be fully and publicly documented in National Grid DCO submission.   

National Grid operates an EMF information website and telephone helpline to answer any questions and concerns from members of the public. People requiring further information can look at the EMFs information website at www.emfs.info, or alternatively contact the EMF Helpline on 0845 702 3270 or via email – [email protected]  

Project costs and funding

How does National Grid fund its projects, and how does it re-invest its profits?

National Grid is funded by a price control mechanism which is agreed with and set by Ofgem. National Grid pays up front the many millions of pounds it costs to build a new power transmission line. The cost is then gradually passed to customers through their electricity bills over the next 40 years or so. The funding for these up-front costs comes from National Grid’s shareholders and the institutions that lend us money. Across all our investments in our vital infrastructure, this amounts to many billions of pounds. They invest in us because they expect that we will make a sufficient profit to provide an appropriate return on their investment and eventually pay them back. This brings a major benefit to electricity bill payers as it allows the recovery of the cost of our investment to be spread out over many years, rather than having a spike in electricity bills when we build a large new transmission connection.  

Could National Grid pay for new infrastructure out of its profits?

National Grid has an ongoing investment programme to modernise our high-voltage electricity transmission network and to connect new low-carbon generation, including nuclear and renewables. The new generation is vital to ensure as a nation we meet our carbon emissions targets and to ensure we all continue to benefit from secure and economic energy supplies. As a company we are investing around £1.3 billion per year in our UK electricity transmission system. Like many companies the funding for our investments comes from a number of sources including shareholders, reinvesting a significant proportion of our profits and borrowings against a secure income stream. Of course, shareholders expect a return on their investment, and we pay dividends out of our remaining profits. 

If National Grid decides to build new infrastructure for a connection does it pay for it or does the company wanting to make the connection pay or can it be a combination?

National Grid charges both generators and supply companies for connection to and use of the transmission system. National Grid’s charging methodology is approved by Ofgem, the energy regulator. The cost of building a new connection is picked up by National Grid. During planning and construction of new transmission infrastructure, security for the cost is shared between the generating companies who will ultimately benefit from it. The money is recouped by National Grid over 40 years through charges made to generators and suppliers who use the line to transmit electricity. These charges pass through to consumers in their bills and are regulated by Ofgem. National Grid is currently investing around £1.3 billion a year in its electricity network. We need to raise that money up front from investors and lenders. Electricity consumers pay it back in their bills over some 40 years. Electricity transmission costs make up around 3.3% of the typical electricity bill. 

Would higher energy bills be needed to pay for this connection which feature more expensive technology such as a tunnel/undergrounding/subsea cable rather than cheaper overhead lines?

Yes, building this new connection will have an impact on the price we all pay for electricity. That is why it is so important for us to strike the right balance between maintaining secure reliable electricity supplies, managing the cost to consumers, and minimising the impact on treasured landscapes. 

What are National Grid Electricity Transmission's (NGET) responsibilities within the electricity industry? 

When developing transmission network proposals, we have a statutory duty, under the Electricity Act 1989, to act in an efficient, coordinated and economical way, and have regard to the desirability of preserving amenity. When considering options to deliver additional electrical network capability, we must balance the need to develop the network in a way that is efficient, coordinated and economical, and minimises impacts on people and places. 

How are National Grid’s costs regulated?

In the UK, energy networks are regulated by Ofgem. Ofgem operates under the direction and governance of the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA) and has established price control mechanisms that restrict the amount of revenue that can be earned by regulated businesses. National Grid is now operating under a five-year price control period (RIIO T2) which came into effect on 1 April 2021. RIIO stands for Revenue = Incentives + Innovation + Outputs. The RIIO model offers network companies real incentive for securing investment and driving innovation. This is to ensure the delivery of sustainable energy networks for current and future customers at the lowest cost. The regulator’s principal role is to protect the interests of existing and future consumers. The regulator must carry out its role in a way that promotes efficiency and economy, protects the public from danger, and secures a diverse long-term energy supply as well as taking into account environmental matters. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange. As a consequence, we are also regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the UK. 

What about the alternative route options? / How much would they cost?

Our Preliminary Corridor Route and Substation Siting Report explains the options that have been considered and why we feel that this option is the right one to take forward. We carefully consider all corridor options, taking into account factors such as visual impact, cost and technical complexity. We believe this option strikes the right balance between all of the factors we must consider, including affordability to electricity bill-payers and the impact of the new connection on the landscape. 

Why should local people pay the price in environmental impact and property values to keep electricity bills lower across the rest of the country?

Electricity transmission companies in the UK (National Grid, Scottish Power and Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission) need to invest significantly now and into the future to meet the energy challenges we all face, and to contribute towards achieving net zero – an immediate and notable example is to produce 40 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, enough to power every home in the UK. Connecting new low National Grid || Electricity Project Costs Issue 2: March 2022 4 carbon energy sources like [developer’s/the] proposed [infrastructure] at [location] is part of that, but there are many other similar proposals elsewhere in the country. Ofgem and government are clear in setting the framework that we operate in, and they expect network companies to consider a wide array of factors when implementing new infrastructure, and to show that consumers are getting value for money. That applies as much to consumers here as it does elsewhere in the country. We are very mindful of the impact of our infrastructure, so we always consider ways to diminish this and listen to people’s views. We will consult with local authorities, environmental organisations, other bodies, and the public to identify concerns and mitigate any potential negative impacts.  

Where can I find the breakdown for transmission costs on my bill?

National Grid Electricity Transmission – Breaking down your Bill

Information for landowners

Will the scheme affect my property / land?

We are at early stages of routeing and siting and to date have presented a preferred corridor and associated graduate swathe within the corridor. If at this stage we believe that you may be affected by the development you will have received a letter from our land agent Fisher German to introduce the project and to begin engagement with you. 

We may need to carry out surveys on your land to inform our assessments and feed into the routeing and siting of the overhead line but we will keep you informed of the purpose of surveys and how the data will be used. If we request access for survey this does not necessarily mean that your property / land will be affected by the project, as we will need to survey widely to understand the environmental effects of our proposals. 

I think my land might be affected; how can I find out?

If you’re an affected landowner or occupier and your land interest is registered with the Land Registry, you should have been approached by our land agents Fisher German. However, if you think that your land may be affected and you have not received a letter, please contact the lands team on [email protected] or on 0345 013 1864. 

I have received a letter from Fisher German, what does this mean?

If you have been contacted by our land agent Fisher German, it is because your property / land is located within our preferred corridor. At each stage of the project, Fisher German will contact all potentially affected landowners to advise on how the land might be affected and to arrange access for surveys. Fisher German is coordinating engagement with landowners on behalf of National Grid for this project, please respond to any correspondence to ensure that we have a full understanding of your related land interest.  

I have received a letter from Terra Quest, what does this mean?

If you have been contacted by Terra Quest, our land referencer, it is because they are making enquiries to identify and confirm all relevant land interests. They will also be looking into the extent of that interest in proximity to the proposed route. Terra Quest will issue a Landowner Interest Questionnaire (LIQ) to people with an interest in land to ensure the correct information is held relating to each parcel of land. When issued please complete and return the LIQ as soon as possible, to ensure we have the correct contact details. LIQs are planned to be distributed in December 2022.  

Will survey access be required to my land?

National Grid will seek voluntary agreements for a range of engineering, ecological and environmental surveys. Some ecological and environmental surveys will be time-critical and can only be carried out at specific times of the year. Surveys may also involve the drilling of boreholes or the excavation of trial pits, to assess ground conditions. These surveys will be undertaken by National Grid’s appointed contractors and are essential in identifying and understanding engineering, ecological and environmental constraints that could influence the routeing of the new electricity transmission infrastructure.  

If access is required to your land for surveys, you will be contacted by the project’s land agents Fisher German. If you consent to access and for surveys to be carried out, this will be for a defined period of time. The surveys enable us to understand the potential effects of our work and for informed decisions to be made on routeing and siting the project. 

Will I be compensated for allowing survey access?

National Grid recognises the potential for land damage and disturbance that may be caused by carrying out surveys and site investigations and will make advanced compensation payments to landowners for a set period of time. Further information on payments that will be made on survey access is available within our Payments schedule for new electricity transmission assets

By allowing survey access to my land will I be accepting the scheme?

Allowing National Grid access to your land enables us to understand the potential effects of our work and for informed decisions to be made on routing and siting the project. You can still make representations about the project at any time and allowing us access for surveys does not affect your rights to comment. 

What if I refuse survey access?

National Grid will work with you and your agent to reach an agreement to carry out the surveys. Where an agreement in relation to taking access to land for engineering, ecological and environmental surveys cannot be reached voluntarily, Section 172 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 authorises National Grid as an acquiring authority. It allows entry to survey or value land where there is a proposal to acquire an interest in or right over land. 

What type of agreement will National Grid seek to take with landowners?

National Grid will look to agree easements (permanent agreement to install use and maintain equipment and assets) with all affected landowners, allowing National Grid to install, use and maintain their equipment. Heads of Terms, which set out our proposals for the terms of the option agreement to grant an easement, are planned to be distributed to all affected landowners and appointed agents in July 2023. 

What is the difference between an easement and a wayleave?

An easement is a legal right in perpetuity granting National Grid the right to install, use and maintain its equipment. A permanent easement is granted in exchange for a one-off capital payment. Also known as a Deed of Grant of Easement. 

A Wayleave is a licence granted by the owner and occupier of land giving National Grid the right to install, use and maintain its equipment. Terms of the wayleave agreement provide for the annual rental and compensation payments to be made based on the type and amount of infrastructure on the land, and its land use. 

What payment will I receive for an easement?

Easement payments vary between types of land and whether the new connection will be an overhead line or underground cables. For more information on both please read National Grids Payments schedule for new electricity transmission assets

What is an option agreement?

An option agreement is a legally binding document used by National Grid to secure land rights. The option will obligate the parties involved to enter into a final form of agreement as long as the relevant terms and conditions of the option agreement are met. 

Can I have the full easement now rather than signing an option agreement?

National Grid will be securing land rights at the same time as undertaking stakeholder engagement and public consultation as required by the Planning Act 2008. Such engagement and consultation as well as the actual determination of the Development Consent Order (DCO) application may result in changes to the route alignment of the proposed new electricity transmission infrastructure. It would therefore be inappropriate for National Grid to complete land rights and make full payment in relation to those, until such time as it obtains a DCO and understands the terms and conditions on which that is granted. This also avoids a landowner having land with an easement which is not needed. 

What if I don’t want to sign an option agreement?

National Grid will work with landowners to agree voluntary land right agreements up to the point at which the Development Consent Order (DCO) is granted.  At the time of submission of the Development Consent Order application  National Grid will not know whether it will need to rely upon compulsory powers to acquire the necessary land rights therefore the application must include all land rights needed to construct and subsequently operate the new electricity transmission infrastructure.  

Where National Grid has been unable to obtain a voluntary agreement from a landowner, we will seek to acquire the relevant land or land rights over the relevant land through the compulsory acquisition powers granted through the DCO. A copy of the order and a compulsory acquisition notice will be served by National Grid on the relevant landowner. 

Will National Grid compulsory purchase my land?

National Grid may have to rely on compulsory purchase powers as a last resort if voluntarily agreements for land rights cannot be reached with landowners. When submitting the Development Consent Order (DCO) application, National Grid will also apply for compulsory purchase powers. This will ensure that if the DCO is granted National Grid will be able to obtain all land rights needed to construct and subsequently operate the new electricity transmission assets. 

Will I be able to make an Injurious Affection claim?

National Grid acknowledges that any proposed new works may cause concern to landowners. In additional to the other payments outlined, ‘Injurious affection’ and any other appropriate Heads of Claim will be considered on an individual basis in accordance with current legislation.  

How will the construction of the overhead line / underground cables affect my day-to-day farming?

Once National Grid has developed its construction methodologies and programme further, we will have a better understanding of what effects there may be on different areas of land. We can then engage with individual landowners to understand what these effects may be and how they can be possibly mitigated through temporary changes in farming practises and accommodation works.  

Will I still be able to farm the land around the overhead lines?

Any land used for farming can continue to be farmed around and under the overhead lines. There may be restriction on safety clearances between farm equipment and the conductors

Will I still be able to farm the land over the underground cables?

The majority of agricultural operations will still be possible above the cables, landowners and occupiers must ensure that they do not do anything that will likely result in an interference with or damage to the cables. Land drainage works are usually restricted over the easement width. 

Will I be able to develop the land around the overhead lines?

You can still develop the land around the overhead lines but there may be some restrictions in terms of proximity and the type of development. For more information, please look at National Grids guidance note Development near overhead lines. 

Will I receive compensation for the period the overhead line is being constructed?

On completion of construction and reinstatement of the land, individual full and final compensation claims will be agreed with all landowners. Compensation will take into account any loses, damage and disturbances caused during the duration of the works.  

When will the land be reinstated?

At this stage we can only provide a high-level programme of works. If our project is consented, construction will begin in 2027 and conclude in 2030.  

We are unable to confirm further details of the installation and remediation program at this stage, as these details need full consideration by our installation contractors when appointed. The detailed program will take all planning consent requirements and stakeholder views into account wherever possible. Generally, we will look to reinstate land as soon as possible after installation works have been completed and temporary haul roads have been removed.