News story

T-pylon offered for electricity transmission connection in the UK for the first time

National Grid have announced that T-pylon, the winner of the Pylon Design Competition, is being offered for the first time in the UK for a new electricity connection in Somerset.

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T-pylon; photo courtesy of National Grid
T-pylon; photo courtesy of National Grid

National Grid have announced today that T-pylon, the winner of the Pylon Design Competition, is being offered for the first time in the UK for a new electricity connection in Somerset. The Pylon Design Competition was run in 2011 by DECC, RIBA and National Grid and received over 250 entries from around the world.

T-pylon was announced the unanimous winner in October 2011. The new design has a single pole and T shaped cross arms which hold the conductors and wires in a diamond ‘earring’ shape. Because of this innovative layout, the pylon can stand at a height of just 35 metres, 10 to 15 metres shorter than the traditional lattice towers.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey said:

“To see T-pylon becoming a reality just 20 months after winning the competition, is a fantastic achievement for National Grid and the Danish architects, Bystrup, and I’d like to congratulate them on their progress. One of the key objectives of the Pylon Design Competition was to see if innovations in design and technology could improve an 85 year old structure, and one that has divided popular opinion since its inauguration in the 1920s.

“We face a significant challenge over the coming years connecting new electricity plants to our homes and businesses. Now communities can be offered a new choice and a radical departure from the traditional lattice. A smaller pylon, one third shorter than its predecessor, with different finishes allowing it to blend into the landscape – T pylon is a striking and elegant design.

“I’m looking forward to seeing T-pylon put into service; a graceful, refined structure fit for the needs of our low carbon, 21st century.”

Nick Winser, National Grid Executive Director said

“The competition was held to find a design which would meet all our safety and reliability criteria and belong to the 21st century. The steel lattice pylon has served us well over the years and will continue to be part of the landscape but we’re looking forward to see people’s reaction to the new T pylon design”.

The Hinkley Point connection which runs between Bridgwater and Avonmouth is needed to carry all the new electricity generation planned for the South West. This includes the new nuclear Hinkley Point power station which, if it goes ahead, will be one of the largest single generators in the country.

National Grid offers T-pylon for the first time in the UK.

For further information on the development of T-pylon visit National Grid’s T-Talk website.

Published 23 July 2013