Press release

Comparative costs of new electricity infrastructure

31 January 2012

Today, a report was published into the costs of new power infrastructure.

The report analyses the whole life costs of installing and maintaining new high voltage transmission circuits under the ground, under the sea and over ground.

The Infrastructure Planning Commission requested this report so it can be used as a point of reference to inform their evaluation of planning applications for new electricity infrastructure to connect future power sources to the national grid.

One of the main findings of the report is that the cost of installing new power infrastructure underground, using existing technologies, is always more expensive than installing overhead lines.  The report also identifies factors that have an impact on costs - such as terrain, route lengths and loading.

The report’s remit purely relates to engineering costs.  Although it does acknowledge the aesthetic, human and environmental impacts, it makes no analysis of these areas.  

The costs in this publication were compiled from data supplied by a number of manufacturers, installers and transmission operators from within the UK and around the world.  This data, along with Parsons Brinckerhoff’s own experience, was used to estimate the typical transmission costs presented in this report.

Research and production of the report was conducted by engineering consultancy Parsons Brinckerhoff, in association with Cable Consulting International, who collated and assessed a broad range of data from manufacturers, installers and operators.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) provided quality assurance of the report.

Media enquiries to:

Robert Beahan
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7595 400912
Email: rbeahan@theiet.org


Nick Welsh
Parsons Brinckerhoff
Media Relations Consultant
Mob: +44 (0)7770 832838
Email: welshn@pbworld.com 

Notes to editors:

  • The report can be downloaded at www.theiet.org/factfiles/transmission.cfm.
  • The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is Europe’s largest professional body of engineers and technicians and a source of essential engineering intelligence.