T&D World Magazine

National Grid’s £50 Million Boost for East Anglia Electricity Network

A major National Grid power line that crosses Norfolk, UK is set for a £50 million upgrade and refurbishment that will help secure future electricity supplies. National Grid will start work this month (April) on an eight-month project to rewire the 52 mi (84 km) high-voltage line, running between Norwich and Walpole, near Wisbech. Engineers will renew the conductors (wires) and fittings and carry out strengthening work on some of the 224 pylons that carry the wires.

The 400-kV line was built in the early 1960s and now needs refurbishing. The work will enable National Grid to increase the capacity of the line and the network in East Anglia to secure future energy supplies. The project is being carried out by National Grid, leading an electricity alliance with Balfour Beatty.

Some 100 engineers are working on the project. The project includes fitting 56,000 new insulators, which are suspended from the arm of each pylon, and 9,000 new line spacers (devices which keep the wires separate from each other).

Project manager Simon Chandler said: “We all enjoy electricity whenever we want it, at the flick of a switch. This work will help to ensure that our electricity supply continues to serve us safely, reliably and efficiently for decades to come, securing our energy supply for future generations.

“Safety is our top priority and we apologize for any inconvenience caused by our works. Every effort will be made to ensure this work is carried out as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible and to minimize any impact on local people.”

Most of the work will take place in agricultural fields, away from roads and most properties, and with little impact on the public. The most visible sign of the project will be large scaffolding structures, erected where the overhead line crosses roads, railways, rivers and footpaths, to protect those using the transport networks below.

Visit the website at: www.nationalgrid.com/uk/electricity/projects/norwichwalpole for more information.

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