Plans to erect 140 pylons as part of a new powerline connecting Hinkley Point C to Avonmouth have been given the green light by the Department for Energy & Climate Change.
The new connection will carry 400,000 volts near numerous villages throughout the two areas, and the scheme will be the first to use the T-pylon, a new generation of pylon design. Designed by Danish architects, Bystrup, the T-pylon consists of a monopole with a T-shaped cross arm, and is about ten metres shorter than traditional lattice towers – a design which dates back to the 1920s.
The Hinkley Point C power plant in Somerset is being developed by EDF Energy, and will consist of two reactors capable of generating 3.2GW of electricity – enough to power an area double the size of London.
Energy Minister Lord Bourne said: “This is a step forward in the Hinkley Point C project, which will play a crucial part in our plan to provide clean, affordable and secure energy for hardworking families and businesses.
“Hinkley represents a major boost for the UK and local economy – powering nearly six million homes and creating more than 25,000 jobs with a significant number for the people of Somerset.”
The scheme, however, has not been without controversy. Described as a ‘scar’ on the landscape, a petition was presented to Parliament in October 2015 after having been circulated amongst parishes directly affected by the powerlines. Despite this, it has been announced the project will proceed as planned.
Chairman of the protest group No Moor Pylons, Paul Hipwell, said: "I'm so sad. There are going to be 50ft high pylons marching across the countryside.
"This is something our children are going to have to look at for the next hundred years. It's such a shame they've gone with 1950s technology and didn't have the courage to do what was right for the next generation."
Matt Wooldridge from National Grid said: "This decision will mean we can take energy from Hinkley power station and get it into people's homes and businesses."
There is still no confirmed start date for the £14bn nuclear power station construction project.