The National Grid is consulting on plans to remove pylons in Snowdonia and replace them with a tunnel.
Under the plans, National Grid would remove 3km and 10 electricity pylons in the Snowdonia National Park and replace them with an underground connection beneath the Dwyryd Estuary.
As part of the National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project, the 3km stretch of overhead electricity transmission line from Garth to Cilfor, would be placed in a tunnel deep under the estuary, permanently removing ten pylons from the landscape.
Stakeholder Advisory Group chair of the VIP project’s independent Chris Baines said: “This is another important milestone for the project. The VIP project in Snowdonia is not just the first of its kind in Wales, but one of the first in the world.
“Snowdonia was originally selected because of the significance the landscape plays nationally, and the spectacular qualities of the beautiful Dwyryd estuary in particular. We’re looking forward to making a positive contribution to enhancing the landscape of the National Park.”
Since the project first began in 2015, National Grid has been working together with local stakeholders to develop its proposals, including the Snowdonia National Park Authority, Gwynedd Council, Cadw, Natural Resources Wales, the National Trust and the town and community councils surrounding the estuary.
Public consultation events are taking place ahead of the submission of a planning application to Gwynedd Council in winter 2018.
According to National Grid, subject to all necessary negotiations, approvals and consents, the current indicative programme is that on-site works will begin in winter 2020 and take approximately four years to complete. It is anticipated that by late 2024/early 2025 the new underground connection will be in service and the existing pylons and section of overhead line will have been removed.
Back in April National Grid launched a search for supply chain partners for three tunnelling projects, including the Snowdonia tunnel.