Balfour Beatty installs first of new T-pylons

The first of the new T-pylons is installed (Image: National Grid)

The first of 116 T-pylons, the first new design for a pylon in Great Britain in nearly 100 years, has been built in Somerset.

Balfour Beatty is erecting the first 48 of the pylons for the National Grid. They will follow a 57km route, connecting six million homes to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

The new design, with a single pole and cross-shaped arms, is around a third shorter (35m) than traditional high-voltage pylons, with a smaller ground footprint.

They will run between Bridgwater and Portbury, other than through the Mendip Hills AONB where the new connection goes underground. The project also includes the removal of 249 electricity pylons between Bridgwater and Avonmouth.  

The new pylon design was selected from more than 250 designs entered into an international competition run in 2011, organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects and government.

Each pylon takes around five days to build. Construction of the remaining 68 pylons, north of Sandford will begin in 2022. 

Matt Steele, Balfour Beatty’s managing director for its rail and utilities business, said: “Our unique capability and extensive experience in delivering major, complex overhead line schemes, makes us ideally positioned to play a key role in constructing the world’s first T-pylons.

“We look forward to working with National Grid to successfully and safely deliver low-carbon electricity to millions of people, supporting the UK’s net zero ambitions.”

The Hinkley Connection project will be ready to connect to Hinkley Point C by the end of 2024, with the project complete at the end of 2025.

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