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Consultation on £2.8bn mega-connection starts

Brit ned cable

The £2.8bn connection that will link the proposed Moorside nuclear power station in Cumbria to the electricity network will go out for public consultation at the end of October.

The public will be asked for its opinion on the detailed design work for the pipeline, which has been six years in the making.

National Grid said the scheme aims to balance protecting local landscapes and providing value for money.

Moorside is the proposed 3.4GW nuclear power station that will be built near Sellafield in West Cumbria. Development work for Moorside is currently being carried out by Amec Foster Wheeler. 

“We have been working on this project for six years now and, in that time, we’ve had thousands of conversations with communities and key groups. We have listened to their views and these have helped us shape our plans,” said National Grid’s north west coast connections project manager Robert Powell.

“This work has taken a long time but we feel that it is important for us to get the balance right between the cost of the project, which is ultimately passed on to bill payers and the desire to protect treasured landscapes.

“When we start consultation, we will show people exactly where in the landscape our pylons, underground cables and substations could sit.”

Engineers said National Grid needs to construct 400kV transmission circuits, or two double circuits, to connect Moorside.

The route of the connection north of Moorside will meet Harker substation, near Carlisle. The southbound route out of Moorside will go across the Furness peninsula then under Morecambe Bay to connect in at a point on the existing grid network at Middleton substation near Heysham in Lancashire. It is expected to follow in the path of existing pylon lines.

The route development was supported by engineering consultancy WYG which worked on behalf of 16 local authorities via a planning performance agreement (PPA) with National Grid to provide services such as project management, strategic planning advice, and landscape and ecological advice.

The consultation, which starts on 28 October, will be the final one before National Grid applies to the government next year for permission to build the connection. The consultation will include 30 public information events. A decision on the application is expceted to be made by the government in 2018, with construction beginning in 2019 and operations starting in 2024.

Powell added: “People’s views have played an important role in helping us refine our project and we are keen to hear their opinions on the plans we have now developed. The next step is for us to apply for consent for the connections to be built, so it is important that people make the most of what could be the final opportunity to have a say on the project as a whole.”

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