Holidaymakers visiting the south west might see an unusual sight this summer when electricity transmission company National Grid starts work on an £11 million project to refurbish a high-voltage electricity line through Devon and Cornwall, UK. From May to October a team of around 90 engineers will be scaling the 280 pylons along the 60-mi route to replace fittings including insulators and conductors. The power line, which runs from the high-voltage substations at Alverdiscott and Indian Queens, was built more than 33 years ago and the equipment now needs replacement to ensure the region’s electricity supply remains safe and reliable.
The project has taken many months to plan and has involved extensive consultation with land owners. Most of the work will take place on private land and will have little impact on the public. However, where work affects residents, they will be kept fully informed.
A full environmental survey has been conducted and an ecologist will be on hand throughout the project to ensure any impact from the work is kept to a minimum. Electricity supplies in the area will not be affected while the work is being carried out.
This project is part of National Grid's national maintenance program and represents a substantial investment in the region's power network.
The work will be carried out by the Electricity Alliance West, a partnership between National Grid, Babcock, Amec and Mott McDonald. Electricity Alliance West project manager Carl Davies said: “We all expect to have electricity whenever we want it just by flicking a switch, and in order for National Grid to meet that demand we have to keep the transmission network in first-class working order.”