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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Have say on upgrade of Cumbria's electricity network

Public consultation is due to start over plans to upgrade Cumbria’s electricity network.

Brand-new pylons could soon be criss-crossing the countryside after National Grid announced plans to install new connections in response to the Energy Coast’s increasing demand.

Maps have already been released plotting six potential routes for a new National Grid connection at Sellafield, which is needed before a new nuclear power station can begin to produce electricity.

The project is part of a £2 billion package which could see new nuclear power stations built at Sellafield and Heysham in Lancashire. The proposed routes show a rough guide of which areas could be affected by the connection.

One option is for pylons to cut through south Cumbria to connect to the National Grid near Heysham.

Another route is sending one power line north to join the grid near Carlisle while another offshore cable would bypass Walney and join the grid at a substation near Lower Darwen in Lancashire.

Running two offshore cables has also been explored with the lines joining the grid at a potential substation near Heysham. Another route would see twin 400kV cables running through Whitehaven and Workington before connecting to a substation in the Carlisle area.

The six rough maps will then be updated with more detail later in the year before the public consultation is launched in the coming months. The cost of the project will be passed on to the bill payer and it is not yet known if the routes will be overhead, underground or offshore.

The projected costs for overhead cables is £1.6m per km compared to £18m for an underground system. There is no estimated cost for an offshore network.

National Grid manages 4,200 route miles of overhead cabling and 420 miles of underground cabling.

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