National Grid management has said that it will cost from
£0.85 billion to £1.4 billion
to upgrade Britain's electriciy network if a new batch of
nuclear power stations is built.
New nuclear stations are likely to be built on
existing sites where there is existing infrastructure
and where planning permissions will be easier to obtain.
The National grid Director, Nick Winser, explained that
because the new reactors, if deployed, would be larger
than the old ones, current transmission cables would not
be heavy duty enough to cope with the current.
National Grid's estimates are based on new nuclear
plants ranging from 1100 MW to 3200 MW. The largest plant
today provides 1250 MW.
British electricity demand is about 65,000 MW.
National Grid would have to pay for most of the
extra investment because it owns the transmission networks
in England and Wales.
These alterations are unlikely to be made until
National grid and the two Scottish companies (Scottish
Power and Scottish & Southern Energy) are in discussions with
Ofgem about the transmission networks over the 5 years to
2012, to ensure new renewable and gas import projects can be
Ofgem has proposed investment be almost doubled to
a maximum of £5 billiion for the 5 years to 2012. The transmission
companies want £6.7 billion. Ofgem is sceptical that quite so
many electricity and gas projects will need to be connected and thinks
money can be saved.
ND. (13 Jul 06)
Back to top