Norwich to Tilbury is a proposal by National Grid Electricity Transmission (National Grid) to reinforce the high voltage power network in East Anglia between the existing substations at Norwich Main in Norfolk, Bramford in Suffolk, and Tilbury in Essex, as well as connect new offshore wind generation.

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The UK Government has set out a commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This means achieving a balance between the greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere and those taken out. The energy industry plays a key part in this transition, from developing renewable energy generation, to upgrading the existing electricity transmission network to allow communities across the country to benefit from this clean energy.

We are presenting some plans in your local area to help that transition and make sure the grid is ready.

Whilst it is vital that more of the energy we use comes from low carbon and renewable sources, both NGET and the Government recognise it is also important to keep the impact as low as possible on bills, people, communities and our natural environment. NGET is committed to finding the right balance between these factors to ensure our projects have a sustainable, positive impact.

The UK already has 13.6 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy in operation. The Government’s recent British Energy Security Strategy outlines the ambition to increase energy from offshore wind to 50 GW by 2030 – more than enough to power every home in the UK. In Powering up Britain, the Government explains that the grid needs to be expanded at an unprecedented scale and pace to deliver more clean power and increase our energy security.

The Norwich to Tilbury project will support the UK’s net zero target through the connection of new low carbon energy generation, and by reinforcing the region's transmission network.

Why we need Norwich to Tilbury?

East Anglia’s 400,000 volt (400 kV) electricity transmission network was built in the 1960s to supply regional demand, centred around Norwich and Ipswich. With the growth in new energy generation from offshore wind, nuclear power and interconnection with other countries, there will be more electricity connected in East Anglia than the network can currently accommodate.  

Over the next decade we expect over 15,000 MW of new generation and 4,500 MW of new interconnection will need to connect in the region.

This includes:

  • new offshore wind farms connecting into Necton and Norwich
  • Five Estuaries and North Falls offshore wind farms: both currently in development off the east coast and expected to be in operation by 2030
  • Tarchon Energy interconnector: 1,400 MW interconnector between UK and Germany, proposed to connect at the Tendring Peninsula. 

In its current state, the high voltage electricity network in East Anglia does not have sufficient capacity to accommodate this new generation which is why Norwich to Tilbury is needed.

Our proposals include building a new 400,000 volts (400 kV) electricity overhead transmission line, work at existing substations and building a new substation to connect new proposed offshore wind farms to the electricity transmission network.

Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects

Certain types of energy infrastructure fall within the categories of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs), which require a Development Consent Order (DCO) under the Planning Act 2008. As our current plans propose more than 2 km of overhead line, we expect the project would be classified as an NSIP.

Both this consultation and the consultation we held in spring 2022 are ‘non-statutory’. We are delivering our consultations in line with Government guidance for consulting on NSIPs. As part of the DCO process, we would also carry out a ‘statutory’ consultation before submitting a DCO application. All feedback received will be recorded and reported in our final Consultation Report, including how we have had regard to your comments. The Consultation Report would form part of our application for development consent.

Further information on the DCO process is available on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

Project Timeline

The indicative timeline below details our anticipated development programme, including when we will consult on our proposals and when you will be able to share your views. 

Indicative timeline for the Norwich to Tilbury project. View larger image.

The Great Grid Upgrade

The Great Grid Upgrade is the largest overhaul of the electricity grid in generations. Our infrastructure projects across England and Wales are helping to connect more renewable energy to your homes and businesses.

Find out more

The Great Grid Upgrade in East Anglia

The Great Grid Upgrade will play a big part in the UK government’s plan to boost homegrown power. It will help the UK switch to clean energy and make sure our electricity network is fit for the future; carrying more clean, secure energy from where it’s generated to where you need it.

Along with Norwich to Tilbury, National Grid is developing a number of other projects in the region.

Sea Link

Sea Link, an offshore link between Suffolk and Kent. We will be consulting on the latest proposals in East Suffolk and Kent later this year.

Bramford to Twinstead

We also propose to build network reinforcement between Bramford substation in Suffolk and Twinstead Tee in Essex. Our application for a Development Consent Order was accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate in May (2023).

Refurbishing the existing overhead line

We are carrying out essential work to refurbish the existing 400 kV overhead line that runs between our substations at Bramford and Norwich. This includes replacing all the fittings and wires between the existing pylons. We started in late May and expect works to be complete by the end of this year.

Norwich Main substation extension

We need to extend our existing Norwich Main substation to connect two new wind farms (Equinor’s Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon extensions and Orsted’s Hornsea 3) over the next few years. We will publish more information when plans have been developed further.

The need for network reinforcement

Watch the video to hear why the network needs reinforcing here in East Anglia

Watch the video