National Grid has started construction of its new 35m high T-pylons, meaning they’ll be seen in a landscape context for the first time. The six T-pylons will be built at its Eakring training academy in Nottinghamshire.
The pylon has been designed by Danish architects and engineers Bystrup, following a competition organised by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and National Grid.
The structure is a monopole with a T-shaped cross arm, which holds the cables. It is made up of fewer than 10 major sections and is designed for simple construction. The pylon can stand at a height of 35m, which is 10m to 15m shorter than traditional lattice towers.
The T-Pylon presents an alternative to the steel lattice pylons, which dominate National Grid’s infrastructure.
National Grid director of electricity transmission asset management David Wright said: “We’ve been able to answer yes to the hundreds questions that need to be asked before we can introduce a new type of pylon. The training line has enabled us to learn so many lessons about how to manufacture and build the T-pylon. I’m incredibly proud of the high standard of engineering that brought us to this point”
“The T-pylon is not a replacement for the steel lattice pylon but it’s a new option and in some landscapes its shorter height and sleeker appearance can offer real advantages”.
At 35m high, the new pylons are up to one third lower than the conventional steel lattice pylon.
There are six different types of T-pylon. Two of the pylons to be built will be standard suspension pylons that will carry cables in a straight line. The others include a D30 pylon which accommodates cables turning at an angle of up to 30 degrees. The F10 flying angle suspension pylon allows a turn of up to 10 degrees. Also to be built are a pair of terminal diamond pylons which end a line at a substation or take the cables underground and a gantry terminal with the same function.
The ground works, foundations and erection of the T-pylon at Eakring have been carried out by Balfour Beatty. Its UK territory director William McElwain said: “As part of the construction process, we’ve supported the development of methodologies and processes to determine the safest way to build all five of the new designs which is a fantastic opportunity for Balfour Beatty.”