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National Grid rewiring increasing capacity in London as phase two contractors unveiled

Image: Daniel Chapman/Flickr.

Image: Daniel Chapman/Flickr.

National Grid’s project to rewire London is set to move onto phase two, unveiling a contract with Hochtief-Murphy Joint Venture.

The first phase of the project, dubbed London Power Tunnels, was completed in 2018. London was rewired from Hackney to Willesden and from Kensal Green to Wimbledon to meet increasing electricity demand.

The additional capacity put in place during that phase of the project meant London had greater access to renewable generation from offshore windfarms connecting to the grid in the southeast, National Grid said.

It has now signed a six-year contract worth around £400 million with Hochtief-Murphy Joint Venture to deliver the tunneling and shaft work of the second phase of the project.

Work on the £1 billion, eight-year project is set to start in March 2020. The new cables will replace three circuits of cables that run under the surface of roads between Wimbledon in the southwest to Crayford in the southeast.

The new transmission cables are to be housed in a 32.5km tunnel 30m underground.

Housing the cables in tunnels minimises the disruption for Londoners, National Grid said, as the existing cable infrastructure, which is over 50 years old and nearing the end of its life, will not need to be dug up.

Nicola Shaw, National Grid’s UK executive director said the project will help ensure London has “secure, reliable access to electricity to meet the energy demands of the future”.

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