Lifetime cost of underground power cables revealed

Overhead power cables are the cheapest form of power transmission, according to new research revealed by Energy Minister Charles Hendry in Parliament. The government-commissioned report by the Institution of Engineering […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Overhead power cables are the cheapest form of power transmission, according to new research revealed by Energy Minister Charles Hendry in Parliament.

The government-commissioned report by the Institution of Engineering and Technology looked at the cost of underground, overhead and subsea power cables over their lifetime.

Overhead transmission lines cost between £2.2million and £4.2million per kilometre, compared with the underground cable, which the IET estimates will cost £10.2m-£24.1million.

In the report Professor MJH Sterling, chairman of the project board acknowledged that new electricity supply lines will naturally be “controversial” especially “in sensitive areas of the country”.

Nevertheless the research offers scant comfort for local communities who object to plans for overhead power lines in their back yards.