Only three weeks remain for councils, developers and businesses to have their say on £50 million of energy investment for the North East, Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.
Distribution network operator (DNO) Northern Powergrid is looking to use the money – a share of the wider £300 million for network upgrades announced by the Energy Networks Association in February – to enable green jobs and growth.
Already 38 locations including Newcastle City Centre, York and Grimsby Docks have been identified as candidates for the investment, which will expand network capacity over the next two years.
The investment would be ‘ahead of need’ Northern Powergrid said, and help develop capacity to accommodate the switch to electrified heat and vehicles.
Additionally, by unlocking further capacity it will “provide the foundations required to accelerate a green economic recovery” the company added.
With unemployment increasing to 5.1%, and young people in particular feeling the economic impact of the pandemic it is “absolutely vital that we bring forward jobs in the area as quickly as we can,” said Patrick Erwin, Policy and Markets Director at Northern Powergrid. “At the same time, we are proactively responding to the climate emergency and the industries like ours that are at the heart of that response must do what we can to speed up action.
“Our investment in the local power network is an important step on the road to economic growth and we want to invest in the places that will deliver the most benefit. We need people to come forward to tell us what plans they have – from an EV charging hub to a zero carbon homes development – so we can funnel our near-term investment to the place it can do the most good for our communities.”
Northern Powergrid’s call for evidence is open till 5pm on 19 March 2021.