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Answers to questions we’re often asked about SEGL1

Here you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the SEGL1 project. 

We’ll keep these up-to-date as our work progresses and we hope they answer your questions about our work.

Who is National Grid and what do they do?

National Grid sits at the heart of Britain’s energy system, connecting millions of people and businesses to the energy they use every day. Our individual companies run the systems and infrastructure that deliver gas and electricity across the country.

What work is being proposed?

We are proposing the construction of a new High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Link from the Torness area, East Lothian, Scotland, to Hawthorn Pit (between Murton and South Hetton) in County Durham. The cables will travel most of their journeys under the North Sea before making landfall just north of Seaham, County Durham.

SEGL1 will then run underground for approximately 10km and connect to the UK’s electricity network via existing National Grid infrastructure at Hawthorn Pit. The link, together with our Yorkshire GREEN project, will provide extra network capability and strengthen the transmission network from northern Scotland to northern England.

Why are you planning these projects?

The UK Government is committed to increasing the use of renewable energy and has a target to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emission by 2045 in Scotland and 2050 in England and Wales. 

The government has also a target for the connection of 40GW of wind power by 2030. The proposed SEGL projects are essential to deliver on these commitments and create a cleaner, greener future.

Why are you building in County Durham?

Hawthorn Pit, with its existing National Grid infrastructure, provides a strong point on the UK’s electricity network to connect into and has the benefit of being relatively close to the coast, which reduces the length of onshore cable routes.

The site also benefits from land around the existing infrastructure on which to locate a new substation and converter station.

Connecting SEGL1 to this existing infrastructure, along with a further reinforcement of the network in Yorkshire (our Yorkshire GREEN project), provides the network capability needed to deliver cleaner, greener energy to the rest of the UK in the most optimum way. Many factors were very carefully considered, including balancing cost, benefit to the network, and minimising new infrastructure and impacts on people, places and the environment.

How long are the works expected to take?

If approved, we intended to begin construction on SEGL1 in 2023 and complete the works in 2027.

Will there be disruption in my area because of the proposed works?

We are currently in the early planning phase and are working hard to minimise any disruption caused by our work. The onshore cables between landfall and the converter station will be buried below ground and, as a result, any construction impacts will be temporary. After we complete our work, we will return the land to how we found it.

I've received a letter from your lands agent, does this mean my land is affected?

If you have been contacted by our land agents or referencers, it is likely to be because we are seeking access to your land for surveys. We are currently in the development stages of the project and these surveys help inform our preferred route. We conduct surveys on land that is directly impacted by our preferred cable route, but also land around it, so although we may be looking to conduct surveys on your land, it does not necessarily mean that the cable route is proposed to run through it.

Our lands team will be able to confirm whether the preferred cable route passes through your land, and they can be contacted using the details on the letter you have received.

I think my land might be affected by the works, how can I find out?

If you’re an affected landowner or occupier, providing your land interest is registered with the Land Registry, you should have been approached by our land agents directly. However, if you think that your land may be impacted and you have not received a letter, then please contact our community relations team at [email protected] or on 0808 1968 405.

What are the hours of operation for the works?

We are currently in the early planning phase of this project and will be able to share further information about possible disruption later on.

Please keep checking here for updated information.

Will the buried cables have any effect on my health?

Some people worry that EMFs may have negative health effects. We take these concerns seriously and want to keep the public, our contractors and employees safe.  We ensure all of our existing and proposed equipment, including those on this project, comply with independent safety guidelines set to protect us all against EMF exposure. After decades of research the weight of evidence is against there being any health risks of EMFs below the guideline limits.

For further information on EMFs visit our website, www.emfs.info. If you would prefer to talk about your concerns, please do not hesitate to call the EMF helpline on 0845 702 3270 or email [email protected].