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National Grid completes installation of T-Pylons for Hinkley Connection Project

National Grid completes erection of new T-pylons for Hinkley Connection Project
T-pylons are quicker to erect than traditional lattice pylons, according to National Grid.

National Grid has completed the installation of overhead conductors on all 116 T-pylons as part of its Hinkley Connection Project, marking the latest milestone for the project. 

The Hinkley Connection Project aims to deliver low carbon power to six million homes and businesses in the UK and covers a 57km stretch from the new Shurton substation at Hinkley Point C to the existing Seabank substation in Avonmouth. 

In total, the Hinkley Connection Project includes 48.5km of overhead lines predominantly using T-pylons, complemented by an 8.5km underground cable section through the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

In August 2023, National Grid finally installed the last of the 116 T-Pylons, but now the final conductors have been attached near Yatton, North Somerset, with a total of 460km of power line now strung between the T-pylons, extending the equivalent distance from Bridgwater to Paris. The design of the T-pylons involves six conductor spans per structure, installed in sections potentially spanning a dozen pylons each, with the process taking up to two weeks per section.

Engineering teams used large drums to transport the conductors, each drum weighing up to seven tonnes and measuring eight feet in height, to string the wires across the pylons with precision.

Steven Haskayne, Project Director for National Grid, commented, “With the T-pylons fully strung, our Hinkley Connection Project is really starting to take shape. It’s a proud moment for all the teams involved, from our National Grid colleagues to our contractors, all of whom have helped us reach this milestone safely and on schedule.”

He added, “We’re grateful to all of the local communities we’ve been working alongside for their patience as our project team continues its work, which is moving us closer to a resilient and secure low carbon energy supply for millions in the region.”

Tony Wilson, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty UK Power Transmission and Distribution, stated, “The efficient delivery of overhead power lines for the Hinkley Connect Project is a testament to our technical capabilities and reinforces our close partnership with National Grid to secure and deliver sustainable energy solutions.”

“As we look ahead, we remain committed to supporting National Grid projects, contributing to the creation of a resilient and secure low carbon energy supply for communities across the UK.”

The majority of the Hinkley Connection Project’s 57km route is supported by T-pylons, with traditional lattice pylons positioned at either end to maintain safe heights over specific areas such as the Port of Bristol. The project also includes the removal of 67km of existing overhead lines, equating to 249 pylons, from the Somerset landscape, restoring the area’s natural scenery. The full activation of all pylons is expected by the end of 2024.

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