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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

National Grid to launch major public consultation on Hinkley Point C connection

National Grid today unveiled its proposals to connect a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point to the national electricity transmission network.

The company has been asked by EDF Energy to connect a 3600MW nuclear power station to be built close to the existing generating plant at Hinkley Point. The new power station will be one of the largest single generators connected to the country’s high voltage system. As a result, the local network will need to be reinforced and upgraded in order to accommodate the extra power and ensure system security.

Studies have shown that the most efficient and economic method of making the connection will be a new 400,000 volt overhead line connecting Hinkley Point and Seabank substation in Avonmouth.

Depending on the final route, the overhead line would be approximately 37 miles long and would be constructed in 2016 at a cost of approximately £2 million per mile.

National Grid major project manager David Mercer said: ‘“Electricity is an essential part of our lives and this line will play a key role in helping to meet the demand for power.

"With a number of major power stations due to close down over the next decade and electricity demand rising, the country needs 20 gigawatts of new generation by 2020. However these new power stations will need new transmission infrastructure to connect them securely.

"We have carried out extensive preliminary investigations and liaised closely with local authorities and statutory bodies such as the Environment Agency and Natural England and, from this, have identified potential route corridors, a stretch of land in which the new overhead line could be located. In addition, new substations and upgrading of existing equipment may be necessary.

"Before any decisions are made we need to hear the views of local people. So, at the beginning of October, we will start a programme of public consultation to seek feedback and comments on the proposed route corridors. This will run in parallel with a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) being carried out to assess the environmental and archaeological impacts of the proposals."

National Grid is aiming to submit an application to the Infrastructure Planning Committee (IPC) in Summer 2011.

For further information go to: www.nationalgrid.com/hinkleyconnection. Members of the public will be able to feed back their views on the website and through a helpline when the public consultation period opens in October.


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