Work has begun on a new electricity substation that provides the vital infrastructure to power up new homes, business growth, and jobs in Biggleswade.
Central Bedfordshire Council coordinated a traditional ‘breaking the ground’ event to mark work starting on the National Grid’s 400kV substation and UK Power Networks’ new grid substation that will increase power capacity in Biggleswade.
These two compounds will see electrical power drawn from the existing high voltage overhead power lines that run over the site north of Dunton Lane, and then transform that power into lower voltage to power homes and local businesses.
With the increasing demand for electricity from residents and local businesses, this new substation will help to future-proof the area. It will access more power from the national grid to maintain a reliable electricity supply, support future investment in Biggleswade and help local communities move towards a low carbon economy.
Cllr Richard Wenham, Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “This new electricity substation will meet growing energy needs across our local area and provide the essential power to support new homes, business opportunities and jobs.
“As we look to do our bit for the planet and as more people shift to electric vehicles or clean energy to heat their homes, the new substation will help support reducing CO2 emissions.”
Mark Beasley Project Director for National Grid said: “National Grid invests around £1 billion each year in the electricity transmission system, delivering the fastest decarbonising electricity network in the world with world-class reliability. We are delighted to be a part of this project, connecting and increasing power capacity to Biggleswade, supporting investment in the town and enabling a secure supply of electricity to the area for the decades to come.”
UK Power Networks project manager Geraint Hancock said: “The start of construction on site is a significant milestone to achieve and is the culmination of 18 months’ of design, surveys, studies and extensive consultation. We have designed a scheme with National Grid that will make the electricity network for Biggleswade fit for the future. Construction works will take around three years to complete with energisation planned in the winter of 2024.”
The project is part of a comprehensive Central Bedfordshire Council initiative designed to provide significant benefits to the existing community and support planned housing growth of around 3,000 homes to the east of the town.
The Council secured £70million of government funding via the Homes England Housing Infrastructure Fund for a number of schemes including this power project.
The funding is also supporting education, providing a new transport interchange at Biggleswade Railway Station, and creating a new bridge to the north of Biggleswade where the popular Green Wheel Bridleway crosses the East Coast Mainline. This will provide a safe and more accessible way for people to cross the railway line.
More information on these Housing Infrastructure Projects is available at: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/biggleswade
The Housing Infrastructure Fund is administered and monitored by the government’s housing agency, Homes England. The programme is helping to deliver up to 300,000 new homes across England by providing local authorities with grant funding for new infrastructure, to unlock homes in areas of greatest housing demand.