12 week period of consultation starts on Thursday 4th September
National Grid starts consultation on the North West Coast Connections project
- People across Cumbria and Lancashire invited to give feedback on plans to connect new sources of electricity into ‘the grid’
- 12 week period of consultation launches with newsletters sent to thousands of homes ahead of 33 consultation events
- The company wants views on the ‘emerging preference’ it has identified after five years of discussions with key bodies and detailed maps and information are now available online
LONDON, 5-9-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — National Grid today starts a 12 week consultation exercise on plans to connect new sources of electricity generation into ‘the grid’ in Cumbria and Lancashire.
The company wants to hear the views of people from the two counties on its plans to provide a connection for the proposed new nuclear power station, Moorside, near Sellafield in West Cumbria into the existing electricity transmission system and to export power generated by other new energy projects in the North West.
Robert Powell, Project Manager said: “This is major milestone for National Grid. We have spent five years working on this project and from today, we start to share the detail of our proposals more widely.
“We’ve had discussions with local authorities from across the region as well as key organisations including the Lake District National Park Authority, English Nature and English Heritage. These have helped us identify an ‘emerging preference’ for a way of making these vital new connections.
“ NuGen tell us that its proposed Moorside plant will generate enough electricity to supply around six million homes and we must find a way to securely connect their plant into our network while, at the same time, treading as lightly as possible on the treasured landscape and environment of Cumbria and north Lancashire.
“We’re now at the most crucial stage of our project. We’re looking forward to going into local communities to start the dialogue about our project. We’re encouraging people to share their views on the work we’ve done to date in order to help us refine the project we take forward.”
Kate Wilshaw, Planning Officer for Friends of the Lake District said: “We have worked with National Grid over the past five years to raise awareness of the sensitivity of the landscape and natural environment through which the electricity infrastructure will need to travel.
“Cumbria and the Lake District contain some of the most precious landscapes in England and we hope that a solution can be found to make sure these landscapes are kept safe.
“We would urge local people to read the information provided and attend the consultation events and to share their views on local landscape impacts with National Grid as experience over the last five years has shown that National Grid do listen to people’s concerns.“
National Grid has today updated the project website to include detailed maps and information about the connection options being considered. People can register on it now to take part in consultation online and also receive updates and news about the project. The website can be found at www.northwestcoastconnections.com
In addition, the company will be sending out around 135,000 newsletters to homes within 1km of the routes being consulted on in the coming days, ahead of 33 consultation events. More detailed information about the project will also be available at libraries and council information points.
National Grid’s emerging preference
National Grid’s ‘emerging preference’ at this point is to build a complete connection with routes going:
- onshore north from Moorside to a point on the existing network at Harker, near Carlisle
in addition to routes going:
- onshore south from Moorside across the Furness peninsula and through a tunnel under Morecambe Bay which would come up near Heysham in Lancashire to connect into the existing network.
This will effectively create a ‘power ring’ around the NW coast which would give Moorside a secure connection into the grid and also allow other new generators to link into the electricity network in the future.
There is potential for the onshore parts of the routes to follow the path of existing lower voltage power lines operated by Electricity North West. Where this happens, it is possible that some of these lines could be removed and replaced with higher voltage lines that follow the same path.
National Grid will also be seeking views on alternative routes coming south from Moorside that go offshore through the Irish Sea to the south or overland around the South Lakes and into North Lancashire. However the company has not prioritised these options for consultation and it believes that specific environmental and technical challenges associated with both of them make it less likely that they would be taken forward.
People can register for text alerts by texting ‘NWCC’ to 80800 to receive notification when information about the project becomes available.
For any other enquiries, please contact the project team direct using any of the following methods:
- Freephone: 0800 876 6990
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Freepost: Freepost NG NWCC