National Grid consults on East Anglia upgrade

National Grid has launched a consultation in East Anglia on proposals to upgrade the high voltage power network in England to connect it with offshore wind projects.

With the expected increase in energy coming ashore from the North Sea, the existing high voltage power network in East Anglia does not have sufficient capacity to connect it to the electricity grid in the coming years and beyond, National Grid said.

By developing the Norwich to Tilbury project, National Grid will be able to connect power generated from offshore wind to the many homes and businesses across East Anglia and Britain and help reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.

In doing so, it will play a key role in providing greater energy security and help to bring the cost of energy bills down, the company said.

Its plan for a new overhead electricity line between Norwich and Tilbury is one of 17 proposed schemes across England and Wales that form The Great Grid Upgrade.

With more than two years of development, the project team have listened to public feedback from 24 public information events and webinars, across two previous public consultations and collated around 7,000 feedback responses.

This consultation is an opportunity for communities to see how the design of the scheme has progressed in response to that feedback.

This includes the preferred draft alignment for the overhead line, an alternative design at Waveney Valley and substation extension works at the existing Norwich Main and Bramford substations and works within the existing Tilbury Substation.

The feedback National Grid receives at this stage of consultation, along with technical assessments and environmental surveys, will inform the development of the project before a DCO application is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).

If the application is accepted, PINS will appoint an “examining authority” to independently review and examine the application, including encouraging the submission of views from communities and other interested parties.

The examining authority will then make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, who will decide whether to grant consent for a DCO.

Project director for the Norwich to Tilbury scheme Liam Walker said: “Our plans are an essential part of The Great Grid Upgrade, the largest overhaul of our energy network in a generation.

“By developing this project, we will be able to connect new sources of low carbon energy to homes and business across East Anglia and Britain so that everyone has access to cleaner, more affordable electricity.”

Over the 10-week period, members of the public will be able to attend 14 public information events, join webinars and view information at inspection points.


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