ENGINEERS have finished installing the world’s first T-pylon route, which will take electricity from Hinkley Point C nuclear power station to six million Westcountry homes and businesses.

The 35-mile power line running from the West Somerset coast to Bristol features 116 of the brand new design T-structures in what is known as the Hinkley Connection Project.

Now, National Grid and principal contractor Balfour Beatty have lifted the last of 232 diamond ‘earrings’ onto a T-pylon between Yatton and Kenn, in North Somerset, to complete the line.

The ‘earrings’ hold high voltage conductors in a diamond shape.

Representing a world first for pylon design, the first T-pylon to be built was constructed in September, 2021, near East Huntspill, just outside Bridgwater.

All the T-pylons will be energised by the end of next year, after conductors have been hung and the last of 249 traditional lattice pylons and 42 miles of overhead wires have been removed from the landscape to make way for the new electricity connection.

T-pylons are quicker to erect than traditional lattice pylons, and the first 36 between Woolavington and Loxton were energised earlier this year, meaning high voltage electricity is now running along them and through cables under the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and via a newly-built sub-station in Sandford.

Hinkley Connection Project senior manager Roxane Fisher-Redel 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.”

At 115 feet high, T-pylons are a third shorter than National Grid’s traditional lattice transmission pylons and take up less room on the land.