National Grid has announced a trio of construction contracts worth £300 million for the connection of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station to the transmission network, with power lines passing through the Burnham-On-Sea area.
The 400kV power line, using new T-pylons, will stretch for 57km between sub-stations in Bridgwater and Seabank near Avonmouth, passing near to the villages of Mark, East Huntspill and Rooksbridge, as shown on the new map below.
Almost 11km will be buried underground in the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty following a public outcry, but new T-pylons will be installed in our area.
National Grid will remove 67km of 132kV overhead lines owned by Western Power Distribution, including all of the pylons currently crossing the Mendip Hills.
Construction work to install the new underground cabling is due to start work in March 2019 – and the local timescales are shown below.
Balfour Beatty has been awarded a contract to build the new T pylons, pictured here, that will be used along much of the route.
Siemens will construct a new substation at Sandford, while J Murphy and Sons will install an 132kV underground cable that runs alongside the main 400kV line between Nailsea and Portishead.
Sue Adam, director of the Hinkley connection project at National Grid, said: “The awarding of these contracts marks a major step forward on this vital connection project. It means that we will now be able to gear up to start construction work in earnest.”
“This will see lots of construction work going on at different times and in different places over the next eight years. We and our newly appointed contractors will do everything we can to minimise impacts wherever possible.”
Timescales for installing Hinkley Point power lines:
Mark Bullock, chief executive of Balfour Beatty’s rail and utilities business, said: “Our extensive knowledge and unique capability in delivering major complex overhead line schemes, makes us ideally positioned to play a key role in helping to deliver the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for more than 20 years.”
“We look forward to working with National Grid to successfully and safely deliver low-carbon electricity for around six million homes across the UK.”
The £800 million price tag includes £150 million of pre-construction costs.
Next steps in the Hinkley Point connection project:
Build and access temporary haul road and construction compounds
Expected start: Early 2019
Expected finish: Mid 2024
Work to build two temporary construction compounds and a temporary entrance and access road off the A38, north of Tarnock, will allow construction traffic to enter the site. Work will start on the access and compounds in 2019.
One of the compounds will include site offices and internal and external storage facilities to support the work to build a 400,000 volt underground cable across the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The other temporary site compound will be used for the construction of the 400,000 volt overhead line and removal of the existing 132,000 volt overhead line in the area.
Build new 400,000 volt overhead line
Expected start: Early 2020
Expected finish: Late 2022
Building a new 400,000 volt overhead line from the existing Hinkley to Melksham overhead line, which is north of Woolavington, northwards to a new cable sealing end (CSE) compound just south of the Mendip Hills. T-pylons will be used in this area, with the exception of where the overhead line connects to the existing overhead line.
Remove existing 132,000 volt overhead line
Expected start: Mid 2021
Expected finish: Mid 2022
Removing Western Power Distribution’s 132,000 volt overhead line from Bridgwater substation to the A368 in Sandford. This will make way for, and minimise the visual impact of the new 400,000 volt overhead line.