cost of power
opposed to plans for a line of huge new power pylons running through
the Burnham-On-Sea area have this week welcomed a new independent
report that has showed National Grid greatly over-estimated the
costs of burying the electricity cables underground.
report has concluded that although under-grounding electricity
cables is more expensive then overhead lines, the cost is just
4.5 to 5.7 times more expensive, not 10 to 25 times more expensive
as has previously been quoted by National Grid.
against the 46.5m tall pylons earmarked for the Burnham area said
on Tuesday that the reduced costs should encourage National Grid
to bury them instead.
National Grid's David Mercer said: "If you put the whole
of the Bridgwater to Seabank line underground, it would cost £850m
more than running it overhead."
is an enormous amount of money and it would have to go on consumer
bills. It would be £1 extra for every domestic consumer
for the next 40 years. What is needed here is a balance between
the visual impact and the cost to consumers."
said that National Grid will be looking at where the most "sensitive
areas" of the pylone route are before considering which could
benefit from undergrounding. A final decision is expected in the
MP, Tessa Munt, welcomed the report, saying: "I am delighted
with this report - we have waited two and a half years to get
this accurate information. National Grid was categorical back
in 2010 that it would cost 17-20 times more to put the lines underground,
but this is clearly not the case."
findings vindicate the arguments of the local No Moor Pylons protest
group and, nationally, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)
who have questioned previous cost estimates made by National Grid.
Leveridge from the CPRE added: "We believe we have been vindicated
in our claims that National Grid has historically over-estimated
the cost of undergrounding power cables."
evidence from this report shows that the current public consultations
into nearly 300 miles of new power lines have been proceeding
with inaccurate information. We want National Grid to call a halt
to any planned construction and restart the consultation process
but this time with the real costs and benefits made clear. We
are also calling for a further study that looks at the wider social
and environmental costs of energy transmission."
report was produced by Energy consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff
in association with Cable Consulting International, with the Institution
of Engineering and Technology (IET) providing quality assurance.