long-distance pathway avoid the need for new power pylons?
have proposed a new long distance walking and cycle path as an
innovative way of transmitting electrical power from Hinkley Point
to Avonmouth - thereby avoiding the need for huge new pylons.
Instead of building a long line of 160ft tall pylons or digging
a trench to convey electricity transmission cables, the imaginative
plan would see the cables laid at ground level.
Above the cables, a new long-distance pathway would be constructed,
which could be used by walkers, cyclists and wildlife.
Burnham's MP, Tessa Munt, this week welcomed the proposal. She
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This novel approach to power transmission
preserves the environment, rather than degrading the landscape
as would be the case with huge pylons."
"The pathway which could join to the National Cycle Network,
would be used by local people and tourists to experience our beautiful
Somerset countryside. It is a creative and workable proposal that
deserves consideration by National Grid and I believe this is
what Somerset people would like to see."
Paul Hipwell, Chair of the No Moor Pylons campaign group opposed
to new pylons being built across the Somerset levels, added: "This
is exactly the imaginative and creative idea that this country
needs as a way of transmitting electricity safely."
"It turns a problem into a real opportunity, which would
increase tourism and create new jobs in Somerset, while ensuring
the secure transmission of electricity that is vital for everyone's
ELECTRICITY WOULD PASS UNDER THE PROPOSED PATHWAY
engineers - Dr Hugh Pratt and Chris Ambrose - were commissioned
to examine the various options for transmitting electricity
over long distances across Somerset.
They propose that Gas Insulated Lines (GIL), manufactured
by Siemens AG, the world's leading electrical engineering
company, should be laid in a shallow tray along the ground
- as illustrated on the right.
This would be covered by a raised pathway, as in the picture.
The pathway could become a new long distance path and cycle
way, thus increasing tourism in the area, as well as a green
highway for wildlife migration.
It also reduces the cost of construction of long distance
power lines because steel pylons or trench excavation are
GIL technology is not new: it has been in use for over
30 years and is used by the National Grid at two sites in
the UK. Siemens has already indicated that, if GIL were
to be adopted as the solution for long distance power transmission,
the company would build a new factory in the UK, thus creating
Somerset's Alliance Against Pylons has called for the National
Grid to seriously consider this proposal and to engage in
a constructive debate about innovative - and environmentally
friendly - ways to transmit electricity from Hinkley Point