UK energy company National Grid revealed on Tuesday that it has commenced the second phase of a project, valued at £30m, to upgrade the 116km long electricity transmission line that runs across Cumbria and Lancashire, keeping the lines in good working order to meet energy needs.
The company is installing 1,000km new wires, as well as repairing and repainting over 300 tons steelwork, on the 345 pylons which are sited on the line running south from a substation at Harker, near Carlisle to a substation at Old Hutton near Kendal and then on to a national grid system point at Quernmore in Lancashire. The 200 engineers working on the project are said to be experiencing challenging conditions as most of the line is in rural areas and is exposed to the elements. It also crosses the M6 motorway in two places and five rail lines including the West Coast Main Line.
According to National Grid, efficient working practices will result in the upgrade being completed in one year, half the time expected, which will save the company approximately £10m. The company has liaised with organisations such as the Environment Agency and Natural England to prepare for the work on the overhead line to be carried out. It has also given advance notice to residents and landowners who would be directly affected by any road and footpath closures and added that electricity supplies will not be interrupted during the work.
In addition, National Grid said it is also working on another project in Cumbria and Lancashire, called the North West Coast Connections project. Under this separate scheme, it proposes to develop plans to provide a connection into the electricity transmission system for Moorside, the proposed new 3.2GW nuclear power station near Sellafield in West Cumbria, as well as several wind farms in the Irish Sea.