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Water-cooled concrete-ducted 400kV underground cables


WATER-COOLED CONCRETE-DUCTED 400kV UNDERGROUND CABLES

A GUIDE FOR THE FARMING COMMUNITY - Professor G.Scott

At the Northallerton Inquiry into National Grid Company's application to run new overhead 400kV lines from Lackenby to Shipton, NGC dismissed the suggestion that any part of the line should be undergrounded because of cost to NGC and disruption to farm land. Both were shown by REVOLT to be untrue.

1. Cost NGC admitted at the Inquiry under pressure from the author giving evidence on behalf of REVOLT that, in the connection agreement with TPL, a substantial sum had been included for undergrounding. This would be paid to NGC irrespective of the outcome of the Inquiry and if no undergrounding was required by the Secretary of State, this would result in an unearned income to NGC. The company refused to say what this sum would be but it would almost certainly be greater than 100M and could be as high as 450M.

2. Disruption to farmland Both before and during the Inquiry, NGC emphasised the 15 metre swathe of land that would be required to convey the underground cable and the consequent "sterilization" of the land because of NGC's requirement that the company must have access to the cables at all times. NGC did not mention but the author, giving evidence on behalf of REVOLT, revealed at the Inquiry that underground concrete ducted water-cooled cables would satisfy their requirements for the half-rated cables which they were committed to provide. The width of such a concrete trench would be 1.275 metres and access would be simplified since the cables are protected by a concrete cover level with the surrounding ground which is readily removed for inspection of or repair to the cables. The Inspectors were advised that considerable lengths of 400kV water-cooled cable had been installed in and around London and they were invited to inspect a length of such cable along the tow-path of the Grand Union Canal, Regents Park, London which is open to public access. This they did and confirmed REVOLT's statements.

Further information on water-cooled underground cables can be obtained from; Mr. J. B. Barron Energy Cables Division Limited Church Manorway Erith Kent DA8 1NS.

REVOLT have a copy of BICC Publication 933 which was exhibited as REV 104-L4 at the Inquiry. This contains a picture of the 400kV water-cooled cable along the Grand Union Canal.

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