National Grid consults on undergrounding

MEMBERS of the public will have a say on decisions made by a national energy company.

National Grid has launched a consultation to give people the chance to shape how it considers proposals to put electricity lines under the ground.

The company is currently analysing the best option it can take for a 400,000 volt power line planned to cross the countryside of North Somerset linking a proposed nuclear facility at Hinkley Point c with a substation in Avonmouth.

However, residents and MPs in the area have been campaigning for the line to go underground or under the Severn Estuary instead of ruining the landscape.

National Grid is now revising its approach to undergrounding and is asking the public, industry, Government, environmental and other organisations for their opinions.

National Grid stakeholder and policy manager Hector Pearson said: “We last reviewed our undergrounding approach in the early 1990s,

“With a significant amount of new power generation needing to connect to our network in the coming years, including low carbon generators such as nuclear power and wind farms, we believe that now is a good time to review our approach.

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“When planning to connect a new generator to its network, National Grid looks at different methods, including overhead lines, underground cables and undersea cables.

“As a transmission operator, we need to comply with statutory duties such as building a network that is efficient, coordinated and economic to construct, operate and maintain.”

The consultation will run until March 16, 2011.

Anyone wishing to contribute can complete a questionnaire online at