The region’s power map is to be redrawn after the National Grid unveiled its latest proposals to connect Cumbria’s planned new nuclear power station and offshore windfarms to the national grid.
The new power route will definitely not go through the Trough of Bowland, but it definitely will go across or round Morecambe Bay.
National Grid explained its proposals are still broad brushstrokes, with more public consultations planned for next year.
But after three years of investigations and consultations earlier this year, it’s just published a map showing the options for where the region will bring new power into the National Grid.
A new North West Coast Power Ring will connect the planned 3.2 GW Moorside nuclear power station at Sellafield and windfarms to the national grid.
National Grid said it had consulted with councils, key groups and individuals about six possible routes. It said: “The company has decided to take forward two options - both of which would see the creation of a power ring that would connect coastal areas into the existing grid system and also create the opportunity for future generators to link in.”
Within the two north/ south options proposed routes are:
To the North from Moorside following existing power line routes to Carlisle
To the South:
- From Moorside out through the Irish Sea sea into Morecambe Bay using hihvdc (high voltage direct current cables)
- Overland from Moorfield to Barrow in Furness and then by sea across Morecambe Bay to Heysham and overland to the south.
- A complete on shore option: leading from Moorside to Carlisle and from Moorside down to Barrow, across to Kendal and down to Hesyham, before connecting to the Grid somewhere in north or central Lancashire.
Although routes can be offshore or on land, on land they could be overground or underground. The National Grid says it will seek to use existing power line routes where appropriate.
It acknowledges a new Converter Station may have to be sited on the Lancashire coast or a new sub-station be built in the county. Now work begins to narrow down where the exact power routes will go
Peter Fendley, Senior Project Manager at National Grid, said: “The next step is for us to identify potential route corridors for new infrastructure both on land and offshore. Once this work has been completed we will start to consult extensively with communities. It pledged: “The company will only build what is essential to connect new sources of power.”
The consultation events on more detailed routes are expected to start in late spring next year.
* National Grid’s Strategic Options Report and its Consultation Feedback Report can be viewed online.
* If anyone wants to register details for project updates go to www.northwestcoastconnections.com