We operate 89,000km of overhead lines predominantly in rural locations. While overhead lines are widely accepted as being part of the countryside, there are a number of protected landscapes, including National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (“AONB”) across our geographical footprint where removing our overhead lines and replacing them with underground cables would visually improve matters.
We coordinate the undergrounding of overhead lines with established steering groups consisting of representatives from AONBs and National Parks who help us identify and prioritise where work will take place. We provide information and appropriate assistance to stakeholders to help them in scheme selection including budget costing and feasibility assessments.
At the close of ED1 we have undergrounded 39.5km (72%) of the 55 km of overhead lines within National Parks and AONB we committed to underground during RIIO-ED1. We have seen progressive progress during the price control, but there have been issues that have delayed some projects.