THE National Grid's Hinkley Connection Project has reached a major milestone with the completion of all 116 of its T-pylons.

When the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station starts generating electricity, the T-shaped structures will connect six million homes and businesses to low carbon energy.

The last of the pylons' 232 diamond-shaped insulators was recently lifted by crane into place on a T-pylon between Yatton and Kenn (North Somerset) by National Grid and principal contractor Balfour Beatty, two years after the first T-pylon was constructed near East Huntspill.

The pylons are easier to put up than traditional lattice pylons, and the company behind them says they are less of an eyesore. 

At 35m high, they are a third shorter than National Grid’s traditional lattice transmission pylons and take up less room on the land.

At the end of 2022, 47 more T-pylons were completed. In early 2023, 36 new pylons were installed between Woolavington and Loxton.

Cables running under the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the newly built substation at Sandford means that these are already being supplied by high voltage electricity.

In the meantime, work began on the 68 pylons running north of Sandford to Portbury. These have now been completed.

The pylons are expected to be energised by the end of 2024. The last of the lattice pylons will then be removed.

Roxane Fisher-Redel, senior project manager for National Grid on the Hinkley Connection Project, said: “National Grid’s T-pylons are the first new design for overhead electricity lines in over a century and will play a central role in connecting low carbon energy to millions of people when Hinkley Point C begins generation.

“Erecting all the 116 T-pylon structures is a huge milestone and now we look ahead to 2025 and full completion of this project, which will play such a key role in transmitting cleaner, homegrown energy around the UK – enough to power six million homes and businesses.”

The £900 million project will help the UK meet its net-zero target by 2050.