National Grid has confirmed a £90 million upgrade of an overhead power line that will accelerate the connection of 175 clean energy projects to the grid.
Engineering works on the 82km overhead power line which stretches from Bramley in Hampshire to Melksham in Wiltshire has been brought forward by a year to address bottlenecking issues within the electricity network in South West England and Wales.
Now set to begin in January 2024, the work includes replacing conductors connecting the 229 pylons with new cables that can operate at a higher temperature, allowing more power to pass through the transmission circuit.
This upgrade of approximately 3000MVA (Megavolt-Amperes) will increase the flow of electricity between the pylons, removing constraints for the 175 clean energy projects in the region with current connection dates of 2028 and beyond.
“Accelerating grid connections for clean energy projects is a massive priority for us. We recognise the urgency which is why we have brought this project forward to make a real difference for our customers,” said Alice Delahunty, president at National Grid Electricity Transmission.
“The need to build new network infrastructure is widely acknowledged, but upgrade projects to existing power lines such as this are an equally important part of how we are making sure the grid is fit for the future. We look forward to completing the work and working with customers to accelerate clean energy connections to the grid.”
The network upgrade acceleration follows the National Grid’s recent announcement that it would speed up the connection of 10GW of battery projects waiting to be connected at the transmission level, as well as unlocking 10GW of capacity at the distribution level, both forming part of the National Grid ESO’s five-point plan.