We are developing the NWCC project because we need to connect and export the electricity that will be generated by Moorside, the new nuclear power station NuGen is proposing to build near Sellafield in west Cumbria. There are existing pylon lines which run around the west coast of Cumbria distributing the electricity used by homes and businesses across the region. Operating at 132kV and below, these lines cannot carry the amount of electricity a power station the size of Moorside will generate.
We need to build four 400kV circuits, or two double circuits, to connect Moorside. A circuit is a single electrical connection between two or more points on the transmission system. Most of the pylon lines in the UK are double circuits. If you look at a pylon you’ll see it carries wires on two sides. The lines on one side make up a single three phase circuit, as do the lines on the other side, hence ‘double circuit’. A connection from Moorside needs four transmission circuits. If two circuits have a fault or need to be removed from service for maintenance, the remaining circuits still allow the power station to supply electricity to the network.
Find out more about the energy challenge and how National Grid is helping find solutions to some of the challenges we face by reading The Energy Challenge factsheet.
The NWCC Project is considered to be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). This means we have to submit an application for 'development consent' to the Planning Inspectorate. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will then make the final decision on whether to grant or refuse the application.