Press release

Major study into comparative costs of overhead and underground power circuits

11 September 2011

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) asked for a national report into the comparative costs of installing new high voltage transmission circuits underground, sub-sea or as overhead lines.

When published by the end of 2011, the report will provide an authoritative, independent point of reference to help the Infrastructure Planning Commission evaluate planning applications for new high voltage transmission connections or reinforcements in England in Wales.  

The study is being undertaken by international engineering consultancy Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) in association with Cable Consulting International (CCI).

A project board to oversee the work will include the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), which will provide a quality assurance function, National Grid, which is funding the report, and DECC. The project board will monitor and scrutinise the progress of the project.  However, neither National Grid nor DECC will have any influence upon the conclusions of the report.

The report will assess the whole life financial costs of various types of transmission technology, and will identify typical environmental impacts associated with each.

Media enquiries to:

Robert Beahan
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7595 400912


DECC Press Office
Tel: 0300 068 5223

National Grid Press Office
Tel: 01926 656536

Notes to editors:

An earlier attempt to achieve these technology cost comparisons stalled due to a lack of data (see  The new PB and CCI team has developed a different technique for making such cost comparisons which has been employed successfully in the past.  Additionally, it is anticipated that the planned programme of engagement with companies and organisations in the field will help facilitate the provision of more  cost data to PB and CCI for the purposes of this study.