News

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New electricity converter station plans announced by National Grid

National Grid is submitting a detailed planning application to Flintshire County Council to construct a new electricity converter station on the former power station site at Connah’s Quay.

The converter station is needed as part of the Western Link, a project to build one of the world’s longest undersea power cables to bring renewable energy from Scotland to homes and businesses in Wales and England.

The station is being developed as part of a joint venture between National Grid and Scottish Power Transmission and will convert the direct current (DC) electricity transported by the link to alternating current (AC), so it can flow through the existing electricity network to reach our kettles, cookers and light bulbs.

Architects commissioned by the Western Link project team have come up with an innovative design for the converter station building (indicative drawing attached). The design has been prepared after listening carefully to comments made by local councillors and local residents on the previous outline application, which was refused by Flintshire County Council’s planning committee.

The visual impact of the converter station has been reduced significantly and work has been done to ensure that it would not increase the current background noise levels in the area.

Project director Graham Edwards said: “We have worked hard to produce this design, which we believe is a great improvement. We aim to be good neighbours and to ensure the new converter station affects people as little as possible.”

Key improvements in the new application include a significant reduction in the footprint of the main building, which is now half its original size, and additional on-site landscaping, habitat creation and noise mitigation.

“We know that there were concerns about potential noise from the new converter station,” said Graham. “We have addressed these by carrying out comprehensive noise studies and incorporating new features into this design to ensure background noise levels would not increase as a result of the converter station operation.”

Landscaping and screening would be carried out to reduce the visual impact of the development. Existing mature trees and vegetation on the boundaries of the site would be kept, and there would be approximately 30 metres of woodland planting on a five-metre-high earth mound to the south of the converter station. This would provide a substantial buffer between the site and residents in Connah’s Quay.

The innovative building design includes a curved roof, which would soften the view from Church Street and Kelsterton Road, as well as being visually interesting from higher points in Connah’s Quay.

The variety of materials and use of colours have been inspired by the local environment, such as the red sandstone of Ewloe Castle and Wepre Park, and the red brick of Kelsterton Hall.

A newsletter explaining the new proposals will shortly be sent to residents and public information events will be held during the summer to give people the opportunity to talk to Western Link staff about the revised plans.

Western Link has a dedicated community relations team who can be contacted by calling 0800 021 7878 or by emailing westernlink@communityrelations.co.uk.


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