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National Grid Opens New Substation for Nuclear Plant

image credit: National Grid
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The UK is building its first nuclear power station for decades, Hinkley Point C, and its first substation is now ready to deliver electricity.

The Shurton substation, part of the Hinkley Connection Project, was successfully energized recently. It will deliver electricity to the local town from the rest of the grid, power construction on the nuclear site, but its main purpose is to transmit electricity from the nuclear plant to the grid when the facility is finished. The 3.2 MW plant began construction in 2017 and is already two years behind schedule. The planned completion date is mid 2027 but it is unclear if that will be met.

National Grid and its principal contractors, Linxon, started building the substation in 2019. Morrison Energy Services have built the connecting overhead lines to link the substation to the existing network and, eventually, to the new Hinkley Connection high voltage electricity line that is being put in place between the nearby towns of Avonmouth and Bridgwater.

The team, led by National Grid personnel started the final stage of commissioning in May, which included the energization of the substation, operational checks, testing of the equipment and the circuit testing. The Shurton substation should be fully operational later this year.

This is an important milestone in the development of the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor as no substation has been build for nuclear power stations in the UK for many years.

James Goode, the National Grid Project Director explained, “The energization of Shurton substation is a tremendous achievement by all involved and a significant milestone for both National Grid and Hinkley Point C. The energy running through the substation supports Hinkley Point C’s program of works in readiness for the connection of both generators in the future.”

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