Northern Powergrid, the electricity network operator for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is about to start a £1.3 million investment to improve the appearance and performance of the electricity network at four locations within the Yorkshire Dales National Park 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 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) 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 is working in partnership with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to deliver four schemes of work between the end of August 2021 and the end of 2022 that will see them replacing 8km of unsightly overhead power lines and 109 electricity poles, some dating back to the 1950s, with more modern and sustainable underground cables. Locations and timings of this work are as follows:
- Grimwith Reservoir, near Hebden (31 August 2021 – Spring 2022)
- Eastby (6 September 2021 to Spring 2022)
- Moor Lane, near Grassington (starts Spring 2022)
- Kilnsey (starts Spring 2022)
A new substation is also being built on private land at Kilnsey Park Estate.
Not only will this work significantly improve the visual appearance of each location, 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 more people swap their cars for electric vehicles and invest in solar panels and heat pumps.
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 residents, farms and businesses in the wider area.
The work is being delivered on Northern Powergrid’s behalf by Freedom, part of NG Bailey Group. It will involve excavating in the road, footpath or on private land to install the new underground cables. At times, this will require the use of multi-way traffic lights and temporary road closures.
Mike Hammond, Northern Powergrid’s General Manager for the North Yorkshire region said: “Through our partnership with Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, we are 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 national park as well as providing a much more modern and reliable power supply, benefitting local people and visitors from all over the world both now and in the future.
“We’re working with North Yorkshire County Council and other key partners to minimise disruption by avoiding peak traffic and busy dates in the tourist calendar wherever possible and we thank people for their patience while we carry out this important investment.”
Jim Munday, Member Champion for Development Management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “This funding is welcome. The overhead lines that have been chosen cut across the landscape in open or remote locations, so really stand out. Removing them provides an opportunity to permanently enhance the landscape of the National Park, including important landmarks like Kilnsey Crag, for the benefit of generations to come.”
Work starts in and around Grimwith Reservoir near Hebden on Tuesday 31 August 2021, starting with excavation work on private land in and around the reservoir followed by work taking place on short section of the B6265 near Dibbles Bridge in early 2022. Access to the reservoir, its car park and homes and businesses in the area will be unaffected.
The second scheme takes place in Eastby which will require Barden Road to be closed on two occasions. The first closure is from Monday 6 September to Friday 15 October 2021 and the second one from Tuesday 4 January to Friday 25 February 2022. In between these times, Northern Powergrid will be working on private land in the area.
Throughout both road closures, a signposted diversion will be in place through Embsay, the A59 Skipton by-pass/Harrogate Road, the B6160 and Barden Road.
There are no plans to turn off anyone’s power and access to homes and businesses will be maintained at all times.
Details of the schemes planned to take place in Grassington and Kilnsey in early 2022 are to be finalised and will be shared in the near future.
Anyone wanting to find out more about this investment work can visit northernpowergrid.com/enhancing-landscapes, contact Northern Powergrid’s customer care team by calling 0800 011 3332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org The network operator is also available 24/7 on Facebook and Twitter.