A new type of pylon will be carrying electrical energy in Somerset after coming out on top in an engineering contest. The National Grid has announced that the T-pylon, which won the Pylon Design Competition, is being offered for the first time in the UK for a connection in the south-west of the UK. Featuring a single pole and T-shaped cross arms which hold the conductors and wires in a diamond 'earring' shape, the pylon takes advantage of its innovative layout and is able to stand at just 35 metres tall - between ten and 15 metres shorter than the traditional lattice towers which are seen around the UK. Ed Davey, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, said that it was a "fantastic achievement" for both the National Grid and the Danish architects Bystrup that the T-pylon had become a reality just 20 months after winning the competition. "One of the key objectives of the Pylon Design Competition was to see if innovations in design and technology could improve an 85 year old structure, and one that has divided popular opinion since its inauguration in the 1920s," he added. Mr Davey went on to say that the UK faces a "significant challenge" over the coming years as new electricity plants will be connected to homes and businesses. "Now communities can be offered a choice and a radical departure from the traditional lattice. A smaller pylon, one-third shorter than its predecessor, with different finishes allowing it to blend into the landscape - T-pylon is a striking and elegant design." National Grid's executive director Nick Winser was also pleased with the result of the engineering competition and believes that the T-pylon meets all the safety and reliability criteria, while also featuring a design which belongs to the 21st century. "The steel lattice pylon has served us well over the years and will continue to be part of the landscape but we're looking forward to see people's reaction to the new T-pylon design," he added.
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