Close-up of electricity transmission tower in hilly landscape in Snowdonia, Wales
Major pylon removal pylon gets underway in Snowdonia
  • Preparation work to remove pylons from the Dwyryd Estuary all set to start in 2022
  • National Grid to build a new tunnel underneath the estuary to house cables and two tunnel head houses which complement the local landscape
  • Third major project to start construction as part of wider initiative to reduce the visual impact of existing high-voltage lines in AONBs and National Parks

2022 will mark a significant milestone with the start on site of a project to transform a nationally significant Snowdonia landscape that will ultimately remove the overhead electricity line and pylons from across the Dwyryd Estuary.

National Grid will begin the environmental and archaeological survey works this spring when our teams in orange high visibility jackets will be working in and around the area. This work which will continue through the summer will provide essential information for the detailed design of the project ready for main construction starting in 2023.

In the Autumn, the team will start to establish the construction sites at Garth, near National Grid’s existing land, and at Cilfor. These are the locations for the two tunnel head houses at each end of the tunnel which will carry infrastructure under the estuary.

This initial work will be followed from 2023 onwards with a programme of shaft sinking, tunnel construction, head house construction, cable installation and commissioning. Pylon removal is expected to take place following this, in 2029.

National Grid will be working in partnership with main contractor Hochtief who successfully tendered for the work in an international competition which concluded at the end of last year.

When complete, National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project, will see the removal of ten pylons and a roughly 3km stretch of existing overhead line, which runs from Minffordd, across the Dwyryd Estuary, and continues eastwards to just beyond Cilfor. The project is designed to enhance the popular beauty spot for the many local people and visitors who regularly enjoy it.

Steve Ellison, National Grid Snowdonia VIP’s Senior Project Manager said: “This project has been a long time in planning. Local people have been very enthusiastic to see the pylons come down and extremely patient in waiting for us to make a start.

“We’ll be keeping people fully informed of our work and proposed activities through our website – which is available in both Welsh and English languages – regular community newsletters and meetings with local groups.  You might also see members of the team out and about litter picking or helping keep footpaths clear with the Snowdonia National Park Authority to do our bit in making sure that this beautiful location remains that way.”

Chris Baines, Chair of the VIP project’s independent Stakeholder Advisory Group said: “I am very excited that this project is about to start. The effect will be transformational, and locals and visitors alike will be able to enjoy the unspoiled splendour of the Dwyryd Estuary for the first time in generations.

“The team at National Grid has worked closely with local partners and the community in developing these plans and I know that they will continue to do so throughout the construction period.  I have seen the work they have done in Dorset and the Peak District and it is exemplary. I am confident that they will bring the same high standards, care for the environment and innovative thinking to North Wales.”