Saving Somerset’s precious landscape by routing high power cables underground would cost an extra £900 million, National Grid has said.
That would be the cost of putting the entire length of cable needed to take power from the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power station to an electricity sub-station near Avonmouth. Campaigners say undergrounding is essential to protect the landscape in an area reliant on tourism.
National Grid is proposing giant pylons, but is considering burying the cable in certain areas and continues to consult on the issue.
National Grid’s David Mercer said: “A balance has to be reached between protecting the environment and the cost to consumers. We’re talking about £900 million more to underground the whole line. That’s an enormous amount of money.”
Weston super Mare Conservative MP John Penrose said underground cabling across parts of North Somerset would be worth the additional cost.
He said: “If enough people agree with me that it’s worthwhile paying just a little bit more on each electricity bill in order to have those wires underground for at least some of their routing, if enough people agree then that is what National Grid will do.”