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Q&As


Why do you need the Hinkley Point C Connection?

The connection is needed to make sure the country continues to have reliable supplies of electricity into the future. It will carry power from the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point and other new sources of energy planned in the South West. National Grid has a signed connection agreement with EDF Energy and has a legal obligation to connect Hinkley Point C by 2022.

What is the project?

The project involves the construction of a new electricity connection from Bridgwater in Somerset to Seabank near Avonmouth and associated work. More information on the project can be found on this website by visiting our project and Project documents pages. To view the project documents, please visit the library page.

Will the electricity just benefit the South West?

Over the next ten years, as new power generation, such as the new generator at Hinkley Point C, comes online, it is our responsibility to build the network to connect people to the energy they use. The electricity produced will help meet the local electricity demand as well as contributing to meeting the overall national need.

Why do you need a draft Development Consent Order?

To start building the connection we need permission from the Government. We submitted an application (Development Consent Order) to the Planning Inspectorate, who examined it and made a recommendation to the Government.  On 19 January 2016, the Government gave the project the go ahead.

Where can I find out more about the T-pylon?

Further information about the T-pylon and its design can be found at the National Grid T-pylon blog.

Why has the new substation at Aust been removed from the project?

We previously said a new Aust substation was needed due to extra electricity generation.  We continually review all our new infrastructure plans to ensure that we do not plan investment where it is not needed.  Our latest review concluded the new Aust substation is not required as part of the Hinkley Point C Connection Project, due to changes to proposed generation in the South West. 

National Grid is a regulated business, we do not invest in new infrastructure where it is not needed so helping to minimise the costs passed onto consumers’ bills.  If new future generation requires further changes to the network in this area we will review our decision.

Why did we consult on a revised route at Southwick?

As a result of feedback from the consultation in September and October 2013 we put forward a revised route for 3km of the overhead line, which involves moving the proposed location of nine T-pylons in the Southwick area. View our Consultation leaflet to find out more.

How have people’s views been taken into consideration?

Over the past four and a half years you have given us information that has proved vital in helping us shape our plans, ensuring we make balanced decisions based on more than just technical aspects of the project. 

For example, you told us that the visual impact of pylons on the landscape is particularly important to you. Given the special landscape importance of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), we are proposing to put eight kilometres (five miles) of the route underground through and either side of the AONB. We are also proposing the T-pylon for the majority of the connection to help minimise the visual impact on the landscape.

We have to balance your feedback with our obligation to comply with Government policy and legislation, while also making sure we meet the technical engineering requirements so that the connection remains secure and reliable for years to come.

Our final proposal balances everything we have been told, the guidelines we have to follow and the engineering needed to keep us in power. The application includes a report on the consultation and how we have taken your views into account in developing our final application. Ultimately, through the planning process, Government will make a decision on whether we have got the balance right. More information on the process once we submit our application can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website.