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£53m SECURED FOR GREEN GROWTH-BOOSTING ELECTRICITY INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE NORTH

Locations across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire to benefit as part of national scheme.

The region has much to celebrate today with green-recovery-map-850.pngthe announcement of a multimillion-pound investment boost that will accelerate green growth and job creation. It’s all part of a national Green Recovery Scheme that saw up to £300m made available for investment in vital electricity networks across the country, to fast-track future developments that will electrify the nation’s seas, skies and streets in the race to net zero.

Following a region-wide call led by Northern Powergrid, the electricity network operator for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire reviewed evidence from local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, local businesses and developers. This evidence was used to create a final shortlist of 14 projects for submission as part of the national scheme. Now, the electricity regulator Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have approved all the shortlisted projects for investment – leading to a £53m cash injection for the region to unlock the North’s electric future.

The investment in network infrastructure will:

  • help with the response to the climate emergency by unlocking network capacity that can directly support decarbonisation;
  • boost economic activity to bring forward more green jobs and support the area to be a leader in clean energy growth; and
  • be completed quickly, with the upgrades to the electricity network taking place within the next two years to enable economy-boosting projects to come to fruition faster.

In addition to the 14 projects in the Northern Powergrid area, investment has been awarded up and down the country as part of the national scheme that will see all areas of the UK benefit. This investment will enable a significant number of low carbon projects, including electric flight, shipping, heating and transport, to come forward faster. The national projects will not only play a critical role in driving forward a green recovery, but will provide a foundation for the emerging technologies needed for a net zero future.

Locations in Northern Powergrid’s operating area set to benefit from green growth-boosting network investment include:

  • £3.75m to support economic development and regeneration in a wide area around Grimsby and Immingham. The investment will unlock 120MW of additional capacity at the Immingham Freeport, which could enable a range of projects including wind power, green shipping and hydrogen production to come forward quicker.  
  • £0.6m to create capacity that could enable electric vehicle (EV) charging on the A1 trunk road connecting England and Scotland and potentially enable small-scale generation projects.
  • £11.6m [£3m Durham, £1.3m Washington, £7.3m Woodhall] cash injection for areas near to Durham, Washington and Woodhall to unlock capacity that could be used for rapid EV charging infrastructure at some of the region’s busiest motorway service areas and to support future low-carbon developments.
  • £1.5m each for York and Harrogate to accelerate town and city upgrades that may support more electric bus use, EV charging or other future net zero needs.
  • £3m worth of upgrades in Newcastle city centre that will help to accelerate the city’s ambitious net zero plans and support its carbon neutral by 2030 target.
  • £8.2m for upgrades to support low-carbon growth and economic development in the area around Doncaster and North Lincolnshire.
  • £11.5m [£6.5m for Scotch Corner junction and £5m for Wetherby] to unlock large-scale solar generation potential, enable future rapid EV charging infrastructure and development of the areas at Scotch Corner junction and Wetherby.
  • £8.5m for a new substation in Seaham that will create extra capacity that could enable a range of projects, such as new low-carbon homes or regeneration of the former colliery site.

“This is targeted investment in the region’s energy networks, which will kick-start projects and increase prosperity across the North.” — Patrick Erwin, Policy and Markets Director at Northern Powergrid.

“We play a critical role powering the everyday lives of the communities we serve,” says Patrick. “Electricity is one of the most important building blocks for economic growth. In the coming years our reliance on electricity will increase as we turn to electricity to heat our homes and power our cars. As more projects and plans come forward to proactively tackle the climate emergency, they will bring with them the jobs of the future for not only ourselves, but our children and grandchildren and we will play our part in making our future clean, green and prosperous.

“Confirmation of this £53m investment across all 14 projects we proposed is a great boost for the region and could not have happened without the informed input of all those who had their say in where these upgrades are needed most. This collaborative effort will positively impact the region and improve its prospects,” concludes Patrick.

This funding has been sourced from network operators’ existing allowances thanks to cost savings in the current price control period (called RIIO-ED1). These funds will be reallocated to fast-track green developments and the investment will be directed to the most efficient projects and ‘least-regrets’ expenditure.

Sites not on the list for early investment at this point will not miss out and can still be supported during Northern Powergrid’s next business plan period (RIIO-ED2), which runs from 2023 to 2028.