East Huntspill to Mendips

Overview – Summer 2022

In April 2022, our contractor, Balfour Beatty, finished building 48 of the new T-pylons along a section of the Hinkley connection route between Bridgwater and Loxton. This new milestone is a great engineering achievement ahead of energising the pylons in October 2022.

By using the innovative T-pylon design, the height of the new infrastructure is being reduced by a third compared to an equivalent lattice pylon (35m compared to 48m). The base of the T-pylons also requires less land meaning that their footprint on the ground is significantly reduced.

Reinstatement along the southern section of the connection route started in spring 2022 and will continue through to late 2024.

To reduce the visual impact of the new pylons, National Grid is removing a total of 249 existing pylons and 67 kilometres of existing overhead lines along the full route by 2025. The work to remove 37 kilometres of pylons between Bridgwater and Sandford is underway. 91 pylons will be removed by summer 2022, with the eight closest to Sandford substation programmed for removal next year.

Thank you from everyone working on the project for your patience as we continue our work to deliver electricity safely, efficiently, and reliably, and support the UK’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2050.

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Take a look at our detailed map

East Huntspill to Mendips timeline

Early 2019 to mid 2024

 

Build and access temporary haul road and construction compounds

What we're doing:

  • Building two temporary construction compounds and a temporary entrance and access road off the A38, north of Tarnock, to allow construction traffic to enter the site from the local highway. Work will start on the access and compounds in 2019.

  • One of the compounds will includes site offices and internal and external storage facilities to support the work to build a 400,000 volt underground cable across the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

  • The other temporary site compound will be used for the construction of the 400,000 volt overhead line and removal of the existing 132,000 volt overhead line in the area.

Early 2020 to late 2022

 

Build new 400,000 volt overhead line

What we're doing:

  • Building a new overhead line from the existing Hinkley to Melksham overhead line, which is north of Woolavington, northwards to a new cable sealing end (CSE) compound just south of the Mendip Hills. See Mendip Hills for further information about the CSE compound.

  • We will use T-pylons in this area, with the exception of where the overhead line connects to the existing overhead line.

Mid 2021 to mid 2022

 

Remove existing 132,000 volt overhead line

What we're doing:

  • Removing Western Power Distribution’s overhead line from Bridgwater substation to the A368 in Sandford. This will make way for, and minimise the visual impact of the new overhead line.