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New Essential Infrastructure

London Power Tunnels

London

In February 2011, National Grid embarked upon a seven-year project, to rewire the capital via deep underground tunnels, in order to meet increasing electricity demand and help London access the renewable energy of the future. In total 32km of tunnels are being constructed deep below the road network, which will carry high voltage electricity cables.  

Most of the electricity supply in London is transmitted through underground cables, traditionally found just below the road surface. Work to maintain them is carried out at street level and can be disruptive.

By housing new electricity cables in deep underground tunnels, there will be a number of benefits:

  • Less disruption during construction
  • Less disruption for maintenance and repairs
  • Future repairs and maintenance work can be carried out without disrupting traffic, residents, and businesses
  • Additional cables can be installed in tunnels to meet future demand

In March 2015, tunneling was finally completed on the project with the final breakthrough occurring at Kensal Green in North West London.

This landmark event marked the conclusion of four years of digging beneath the capital on a project which will help to secure London’s energy supply for the twenty-first century.

Our efforts now focus on installing over 200km of high voltage cables in the tunnels, which will provide the power needed to meet London’s growing electricity demand.

In February 2016 the project reached a major milestone when the first section of this new high voltage cable was energised. Stretching from our brand new substation at Kensal Green to our existing substations at Willesden and St John’s Wood, the cables will provide the power supply for the new Crossrail project.