The T-pylon is set to change the face of the UK high-voltage electricity network

First 'T-Pylon' contract awarded

The first contract has been awarded to deliver the National Grid’s revolutionary new generation of ‘T-Pylons’.

Mabey Bridge has been chosen to manufacture the steel structures for the first six T-Pylons to be tested at National Grid’s Overhead Training Centre in Eakring, Nottinghamshire.

“We are extremely proud to manufacture these exciting new electricity pylon designs for National Grid,” said Mark Coia, Managing Director of Mabey Bridge Energy & Marine. “Mabey Bridge helped construct the traditional lattice structures when Britain’s electricity grid was first connected during the last century.”

The T-Pylon concept, created by Danish architecture and engineering studio Bystrup, was selected from 250 submission from around the world in a 2011 competition organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on behalf of the National Grid and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). The design was hailed for its ability to easily blend into the landscape.

A single pole with T-shaped cross arms holding the wires in diamond-shaped structures, the T-Pylon can be one third shorter than the traditional lattice towers which have formed the backbone of the UK’s high-voltage electricity network since the 1920s.

“The competition was held to find a design which would meet all our safety and reliability criteria and belong to the 21st century,” said David Wright, Director of Electricity Transmission Asset Management for National Grid. “The test line at Eakring will allow us to fully rehearse how we might construct and maintain the T-Pylon when in use and this contract with Mabey Bridge marks the start of that journey.”

The project has gone a long way since the early stage concept that won the competition. Working with Bystrup and Danish steel firm DS SM, National Grid has refined the design of the 35m-high pylons to make sure they work alongside other connections and newly developed transmission circuits.

A prototype was erected in Denmark in February 2013.

National Grid has since collaborated with Manchester and Cardiff University engineers to investigate the possible electrical impact of the T-Pylon on the UK’s transmission system.

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