The proposed route
We have been given consent to remove over 67 kilometres (42 miles) of existing 132,000 volt overhead line between Bridgwater and Avonmouth substations and put up over 47 kilometres (30 miles) of 400,000 volt overhead line. Over eight kilometres (five miles) of the new connection will be placed underground, through and either side of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), leaving this part of the Mendip Hills free from pylons for the first time in more than 40 years. Eight kilometres (five miles) of existing 132,000 volt overhead line from Nailsea to Portishead substation will also be put underground.
Overall there will be 105 fewer pylons. The new pylons will be carrying more electricity and will therefore be larger than the existing ones. We are introducing the shorter T-pylon to help address this, more information can be found here. Our environmental team has compared the effects of the traditional lattice and T-pylon designs and for the majority of the route we believe that the T-pylon has less impact. In some circumstances we believe traditional lattice pylons are, on balance, a better option, for example around Bridgwater where steel lattice pylons are already in the landscape.
To view the route of the electricity connection visit the Planning Inspectorate website.
Note: The new substation at Aust is no longer part of the project. Please visit the Q&As to find out why.