Underground cables to cost just 30p more - campaigners

PLACING new power lines underground will cost consumers just 30p more per year, according to those campaigning against the installation of massive pylons across North Somerset’s countryside.

Members of Nailsea Action Against Pylons have welcomed the findings of a report released last week to analyse the cost difference between installing new power lines under or over the ground.

The long-awaited conclusions from the Institute of Engineering and Technology showed that on average, placing cables underground would be 4.6-5.7 times more expensive than overhead lines.

National Grid, the company wishing to install a 400,000 volt line across North Somerset featuring 150ft pylons, has previously said it would be 10-17 times more expensive.

Fiona Erleigh of Nailsea Action Against Pylons said: “This report clearly shows National Grid’s costs were out of date.

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“This is a significant drop from about 15 times to just five times, making underground cables more affordable. It leads us to wonder how much further this ratio will drop as underground cables get ever cheaper with increased production.”

Members of the Nailsea group have calculated that putting the whole of the 37-mile line, planned to stretch from Hinkley Point C to Avonmouth, would cost the average household just 30p extra per year on their electricity bill. This was previously quoted as �1 using National Grid’s cost estimates.

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They are now calling on the energy giant to go back to the drawing board and consider undergrounding the whole line, which is needed to connect a planned new nuclear power station near Bridgwater with the country’s electricity network.

Nailsea Action Against Pylons is made up of members of Nailsea Town Council, Wraxall Parish Council and two Nailsea campaign groups which were formed when National Grid first announced its plans in 2009.

Ever since they have campaigned against the proposals, which could see huge pylons installed to the west of Nailsea near Tickenham.

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