We work with the two District Network Operators covering the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB, Northern Powergrid and National Grid
In 2004-05 the Government highlighted that the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM) and the electricity companies must demonstrate extra care in their work in order to help conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Parks and AONBs. With this in mind, OFGEM made an allowance for electricity companies to claim additional expenditure when putting overhead wires underground for visual reasons in AONBs and National Parks.
Electricity networks and conserving natural beauty.
The LWCS work with the two District Network Operators covering the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB, Northern Powergrid (NPg) and National Grid (NG), and their predecessors, CE Yorkshire Electric and Central Networks/Western Power Distribution, to look at removing overhead power lines to enhance the visual aspect of the landscape. Parish councils in the AONB were contacted and asked to nominate overhead lines that were felt to be obtrusive and would benefit visual amenity through undergrounding. Following favourable responses, the LWCS undertook surveys and assessments before submitting potential schemes to NPg & NG. Some high Voltage lines have also been removed across the landscape and the LWCS are looking at expanding this work over the coming years.
The process can be a long one, with design, costings and wayleaves all to be undertaken, along with complicating issues such as sharing of poles for telecommunication and road lighting services, before lines can finally be undergrounded. Over the past 18 years, there has been some great work done in the AONB in terms of visual improvements:
Northern Powergrid have removed over 21km (13 miles) of overhead line, along with associated infrastructure, at an investment of over £3,800,000.
National Grid have removed over 15km (9 miles) of overhead line, along with associated infrastructure, at an investment of over £1,500,000.
A total of 22 villages have been improved through undergrounding overhead lines.