Supergrid Transformers Transported by Road and River to National Grid Substations

Supergrid transformers, collectively weighing over 1,300 tonnes, have been transported to substations across National Grid’s electricity transmission network in the first half of this year. These transformers play a crucial role in upgrading infrastructure to enhance connections and resilience.

In May, a 174-tonne supergrid transformer (SGT) arrived at Bridgwater substation in Somerset after a journey by boat from Rotterdam, up the River Parrett, and through Bridgwater town. This delivery supports the Hinkley Connection Project, elevating the substation’s voltage from 275kV to 400kV to strengthen the regional network in anticipation of future demand growth.

Shortly after, another similarly sized SGT reached Tilbury Docks on its way to a new grid supply point (GSP) substation in Suffolk as part of the Bramford to Twinstead Reinforcement project. This journey was completed overnight with minimal disruption.

In June, two giant SGTs are scheduled for delivery to National Grid’s Elstree substation in Hertfordshire, part of efforts to ensure reliable electricity supplies as demand rises in the region.

These deliveries follow earlier arrivals at Biggleswade and City Road substations, demonstrating National Grid’s ongoing commitment to upgrading and expanding its transmission network. Each SGT, weighing as much as 30 African elephants and comparable in size to a double-decker bus, requires meticulous logistical planning and coordination with local authorities and law enforcement.

Roisin Quinn, director of asset operations at National Grid, emphasized the extensive preparation involved in these deliveries, which are integral to facilitating various energy projects and ensuring grid reliability amid growing electricity demand.

Over the past five years, National Grid has installed and activated more than 20 supergrid transformers, supporting connections from wind farms to rail electrification projects and beyond. These efforts underscore National Grid’s ongoing investments in enhancing the capacity and resilience of the electricity transmission network.

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