We've delivered a new shunt reactor to our Melksham substation

The device will ensure local electricity supply remains secure into the future

We delivered a new shunt reactor to our Melksham substation this week to ensure electricity supplies remain secure and reliable for the local area.

The shunt reactor was delivered by road from Avonmouth Docks to the substation, travelling on the M5 and M4 motorways and other local roads.

At 131 tonnes, over seven metres long and almost four metres high, the shunt reactor is similar in size and weight to a supergrid transformer, but will have a different purpose – helping to efficiently manage reactive power and voltage levels on the network. 

Our transmission network delivers power safely, reliably and efficiently to communities across England and Wales, and in the south west Melksham substation is a key part of the region's critical electricity infrastructure.

The shunt reactor started its journey on Wednesday morning from Avonmouth Docks, arriving at our substation in the early afternoon. 

A rolling lane and road closure was used to manage traffic and ensure safety - all part of an extensively planned operation carried out with our delivery partner Allelys and in liaison with National Highways and the police.

David Shaw, project manager at National Grid, said:

"Local people rely on us to supply their electricity without interruption, so it’s important that we keep our substations and the equipment in them working effectively. The delivery and installation of this new shunt reactor at Melksham will ensure we can continue to deliver power reliably and safely to the local area."

It's not the only such device to have travelled roads in the south west recently. In 2021 the delivery of a shunt reactor to our Sandford substation marked a milestone in our Hinkley Connection Project, laying the groundwork for the energisation of the substation and the world's first T-pylons.