Click on the themes below to expand and review answers to popular questions. If your query isn’t covered, do get in touch with the project team.
Why are you continuing construction works during the Covid-19 outbreak?
The Hinkley Connection Project is a key part of the national infrastructure. These are works that need to take place today to ensure the future running of the network. Together with our contractors, we are continuing to progress with the critical elements of the project in line with current government guidance on construction activity. Read more.
How are you keeping workers and communities safe during this time?
Work on site has been significantly reduced and we have introduced stringent site operating procedures to protect not just our workforce, but also their families and the communities in which they’re operating. We have, for example, restricted travel between our sites and removed skin contact entry systems, such as fingerprint scanners. To meet social distancing requirements, we are installing additional handwashing facilities and welfare cabins. Read more.
What is the Hinkley Connection Project?
The Hinkley Connection project is a new high-voltage electricity connection between Bridgwater and Seabank near Avonmouth. It is a significant investment in the region’s electricity network and will connect new sources of low-carbon energy to homes and businesses, including Hinkley Point C, EDF Energy’s new nuclear power station in Somerset.
It will play a vital role in delivering electricity efficiently, reliably, and safely and supports the UK’s move to reduce carbon emissions.
What are you building?
The new connection will be 57 km long – consisting of 48.5 km of pylons and 8.5 km of underground cable through the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
We’re using the new and innovative T-pylon for much of the route and making significant changes to the local electricity network owned by Western Power Distribution (WPD) by removing 68km of overhead line.
See here for further information.
How long will it take to build?
We started work in June 2018 and are working in different places along the route of the new connection at different times. The entire project will take around eight years to build.
An outline construction programme can be viewed here.
What is happening in my area?
What are your working hours during construction?
Our normal working hours are between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 5pm on weekends.
Most work will be carried out on weekdays, although there may be some occasions when we’ll need to work at weekends or overnight – but there are restrictions to this.
What are EMFs and are they harmful?
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are two types of fields combined – electric (produced by the voltage) and magnetic (produced by the current). Some people worry that EMFs have negative health effects. We take these concerns seriously. We want to keep the public, our contractors and employees safe.
The weight of evidence is against there being any health risk. Read more.
How will your work affect my local community?
We recognise that our construction activity affects local people and the environment, and we are working with our contractors to reduce disruption as best we can.
We are constantly looking at new and innovative ways to minimise the impact of our project on the local community and the environment.
How will you support local communities?
Our Community Grant Programme supports community organisations and charities in areas affected by our activities.
We are committed to giving back to the communities in which we work and leaving a positive legacy. As part of this, the project team has volunteered at places such as Westhay Moor National Nature Reserve in Somerset to restore and enhance the reserve. We continue to look for new opportunities to volunteer with other organisations in the area.
How can we apply for a community grant?
We welcome applications from projects run by charities and community groups that meet local needs by providing a range of social, economic and environmental benefits. Projects that meet our criteria can be awarded a grant of up to £20,000. More information about how to apply can be found here.
What impact will the work have on plants and wildlife?
We take our environmental responsibilities extremely seriously and we are working closely with Natural England to minimise the effects of our work as much as possible.
We have carried out ecology surveys to identify wildlife and protected species and we have already carried out a number or mitigation activities to reduce the impact of our work. These include coppicing trees and hedgerows to protect bats and nesting birds, strimming riverbanks to encourage water voles to move away from working areas and installing bat flyways to maintain linear features along hedgerows to help with their nocturnal navigation.
Will you replace hedgerows and trees that need to be removed?
We need to take out some trees and hedgerows along the route to enable us to build the temporary haul a road and pylons. We will replant hedgerows after work has been finished and we will replant four trees for every one removed as part of this project.
What is your offsite planting scheme?
One of the ways we are seeking to reduce the overall impact of the new connection is to plant trees and hedgerows in the local area.
We’d like to hear from landowners interested in receiving free tree and hedgerow planting. You can apply for the scheme here.
How are you supporting schools in the area?
We are passionate about encouraging the next generation of engineers to take an interest in science, engineering and technology (STEM). We have already delivered several STEM sessions for schools in the area and continue to look for new opportunities to inspire children of all ages.
Check your school’s eligibility and apply here.
What job opportunities are there?
The main construction work on the Hinkley Connection Project will be carried out by contractors that specialise in electricity transmission infrastructure. Opportunities for local contractors to work on behalf of the contractors will be promoted among local businesses as they arise. Read more.
How are you helping to unemployment levels in the area?
We are continuing to fund high quality training across the six local authority areas affected by the Hinkley Connection project to help local people find new jobs through our Adult Skills programme.
By working with the local councils along the Hinkley Connection route, we have identified local skills gaps in the construction industry, and we are developing targeted training programmes to help plug these gaps. Read more.
What are you doing to let people know about the project?
Unfortunately, due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19, we needed to postpone our public attendance at the parish council meeting. All information which we would have shared can be found here.
We are keeping our project website up to date and staying in touch with parish and town councils.
How can I find out more?
Detailed information on all stages of the project and updates on our progress can be found here.
If you have any further questions, you can contact our Community Relations Team by calling 0800 377 7347 or emailing [email protected].
If you are a landowner and wish to contact our land agents Bruton Knowles, call 0800 035 2242. Alternatively, you can find out more information about land interests by visiting our main website.
Do you provide information in any other formats?
We are committed to making project information accessible to all users. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the accessibility of this site, or you would like any information or documents in an alternative format such as large print, braille or audio tape, please contact us on 0800 377 7347 (24 hour) or email [email protected].