I had a helpful meeting with fellow Members of Parliament representing the constituencies in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk this week to discuss the findings of the Hiorns Smart Energy Networks report commissioned by the local county councils into National Grid’s proposal to build a 183km line of electricity pylons running over countryside from Norfolk to South Essex, including parts of Ingatestone, Havering Grove and West Horndon.
The independent report suggests that the need for additional transmissions capacity would be closer to 2035 and not 2030 as National Grid has suggested. This timeframe is likely to see a reduction in the cost for National Grid to develop an integrated off shore alternative as new technology is developed.
Given the uncertainties around the need for, and timing of, the Norwich to Tilbury Project, all three county councils have strongly recommended that National Grid carefully consider the Hiorns report, and its potential implications for the project.
My Parliamentary colleagues and I will be writing again to the Ministers responsible for energy development and we will meet again in the near future to discuss the outcome of that correspondence.
Meanwhile Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk County Council leaders are urging National Grid to reconsider their preferred onshore option following findings of a recent review. The councils jointly commissioned and have now published the Hiorns Report into the Norwich to Tilbury project, which proposes the construction of a new high voltage electricity transmission line between Norwich in Norfolk, Bramford in Suffolk and Tilbury in Essex. Leaders of the three county councils are now asking National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) and the electricity system planner, National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) to consider the findings.