Northern Powergrid, the electricity network operator for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is about to start a major investment scheme to improve the appearance and performance of the electricity network in the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on the back of funding received from the energy regulator, Ofgem.
Electricity network operators from all over the UK receive funding from Ofgem to replace overhead lines with underground cables in National Parks and AONBs in their operating areas, with a view to enhancing the appearance of these protected landscapes as well as improving the reliability and resilience of the local power network. Using this funding, Northern Powergrid has worked with the team at the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB since 2005 to remove over 21km (13 miles) of overhead lines and associated infrastructure. The latest scheme is taking place in and around Benniworth, near Market Rasen. Running from mid-January and early August 2023, the work will see them replacing a further 4.7km (around 3 miles) of unsightly overhead power lines and more than 50 electricity poles with more modern and sustainable underground cables. A new substation is also being constructed.
Not only will this work significantly improve the visual appearance of the local area but, by replacing the existing overhead lines with more modern and sustainable underground cables, it will improve the reliability and resilience of the electricity network in and around the area. The work will also ensure the network is ready for any future increase in the demand for power as people become more reliant on electricity to work, power their homes and charge electric vehicles. As part of the investment, Northern Powergrid will also be installing smart technology which means that, if there is a power cut in the future, supplies will be restored far quicker by remote control switches, benefitting local residents, farms and businesses. The work is being delivered on Northern Powergrid’s behalf by Freedom, part of NG Bailey Group. It will involve digging in the roadway, footpath and grass verges to lay the new cables along sections of the B1225 High Street, Main Road, Silver Street, Church Street and Meadow View, Benniworth. The new substation is being built on private land off Main Road. During the work, the speed limit will be reduced to 40 mph on the B1225 High Street and 30 mph on Main Road, Benniworth and at times it will be necessary to use temporary multi-way traffic lights and road closures.
Heather Woodhead, Northern Powergrid’s General Manager for South Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire said: “Through our partnership with the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB, we’re playing our part in enhancing this spectacular setting. The investment will result in views that are unimpeded by overhead power lines from vantage points right across the area, as well as providing betterment to the power supply infrastructure, benefitting local people and visitors both now and in the future. “We’re working with Lincolnshire County Council to minimise disruption and we thank people for their patience while we carry out this important investment.”
Helen Gamble, Project Officer for the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB said: “We welcome the joint working with Northern Powergrid to improve the visual aspect of the Lincolnshire Wolds’ nationally important and protected landscape. Not only will it remove powerlines across the Wolds and within the village, it brings an updated infrastructure to the local community and businesses, ensuring a more sustainable power supply for the future.”
Anyone wanting to find out more about this investment work can visit northernpowergrid.com/enhancing-landscapes, email email@example.com or contact Northern Powergrid’s customer care team by calling 0800 011 3332. The network operator is also available 24/7 on Facebook and Twitter.