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Sat March 02 2024

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First T-pylons now up and running

27 Mar 23 National Grid has energised 36 of its first T-pylons between Bridgwater and Loxton in Somerset.

The T-pylon was designed by Danish architect/engineer Bystrup
The T-pylon was designed by Danish architect/engineer Bystrup

The new shaped electricity pylons have been constructed as part of the £900m Hinkley connection project, a 57km high-voltage power line to connect six million homes and businesses to the Hinkley Point nuclear power station.

Balfour Beatty began erection of the first T-pylons in September 2021 and by March 2022 had completed all the conductors and wires. Balfour Beatty won a £214m contract in January 2019 to deliver the work. The conductors are now energised and transporting electricity around the National Grid’s electricity network.

The T-pylon design, the first major UK redesign since 1927, has a single pole and cross shaped arms, and is around a third shorter than traditional high-voltage pylon design with a smaller ground footprint.

The design, by Danish architect/engineer Bystrup, was selected from more than 250 designs entered into an international competition run in 2011, organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects and government (the then Department of Energy & Climate Change).  The competition sought a new design to reduce impact on the local environment and surroundings.

The new high-voltage 400kV overhead line featuring the new T-pylons is just one element of the Hinkley connection project. The full route is made up of 14 interconnected project stages that are set for completion by 2025. It includes modifications to the existing local network by removing 67km of overhead wires (including 249 pylons) and 8.5km of underground cables through the Mendip Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which will leave the area free of pylons for the first time since the 1960s.

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