National Grid Electricity Transmission owns, builds and maintains the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales. Every time a phone is plugged in, or a switch is turned on, National Grid Electricity Transmission have played a part, connecting you to the electricity you need.
Electricity generated from windfarms and other power sources is transported through the electricity network of pylons, overhead lines, cables, and substations. It then goes on to separate lower voltage local distribution networks, which connect directly to homes and businesses.
SP Energy Networks is the distribution and transmission network operator who keeps electricity flowing to homes and businesses throughout Central and Southern Scotland, North Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Shropshire.
They do this through the network of substations, overhead lines and underground cables which they own and maintain.
It’s the highest voltage electricity network in the UK – the ‘motorway network’ of the energy world. It transmits large quantities of electricity over long distances via wires carried on a system of mainly metal towers (pylons) and large substations. Transmission voltages are 132kV, 275kV and 400kV in Scotland and 275kV and 400kV in England and Wales. Larger generation schemes usually connect to the transmission system.
The lower voltage parts of the system are called distribution networks. In Scotland, these local networks operate below 132kV whereas in England the distribution network includes 132kV.
We are planning to construct a new high voltage direct current (HVDC) link, an electrical superhighway, onshore from the Torness area in East Lothian, Scotland, offshore through Scottish and English waters, back onshore in England to Hawthorn Pit in County Durham.
The HVDC connection will include two new converter stations and substations, one of each in the Torness area and Hawthorn Pit, and new onshore and offshore cables running between them.
Please see our ‘About EGL1’ page for more detail.
The UK and Scottish Governments are committed to increasing the use of renewable energy and have targets to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emission by 2045 in Scotland and 2050 in the UK.
As the country shifts away from traditional forms of fuel to heat homes, charge vehicles and power businesses, there is greater need for green electricity. By the end of this decade, the UK Government also aims for every home in the country to be powered by offshore wind and has set a 50GW offshore wind connections target by 2030.
To help meet the Government’s 2030 target, EGL1 is designed to significantly increase the UK’s capacity to deliver clean renewable energy, transport this energy to around two million homes, and improve the capability of the electricity network between Scotland and England.
Please see our ‘The need for EGL1’ page for more detail.
The Torness area, East Lothian, and Hawthorn Pit, County Durham, were identified as the most appropriate locations to connect EGL1 to the existing transmission networks as they provide the network capability in the most optimum way.
Many factors are very carefully considered including balancing cost, benefit to the network and minimising infrastructure and impacts on people, places and the environment.
EGL1’s planning applications are almost all approved and we await a decision on the outstanding one.
Only once we have full planning permission from the relevant authorities works will commence.
Please see our ‘About EGL1’ page for more detail on the status of our planning applications.
Work to construct and install the project’s converter stations, substations, onshore cables and offshore cables is expected to start in autumn 2025 and conclude in 2029.
Works to prepare the project area for construction, such as archaeology surveys, are expected to begin in late 2023.
Please see our ‘In your area’ page for more detail.
The main works contractors for the project, and by extension their sub-contractors, are yet to be appointed.
We are committed to carrying out our works with minimal impact on the local community. We have completed an environmental assessment for each site and before works begin Construction Environmental Management Plans and Construction Logistics Plans will be agreed with the relevant local authorities.
The onshore cables will be buried below ground, with the exception of a few small inspection and testing chambers which will be visible above ground* and installation works will be temporary. After our works are complete, the land will be fully reinstated with most if not all activities on the land being resumed thereafter.
Please see our ‘In your area’ page for more detail on specific works taking place in your area.
If you’re an affected landowner or occupier, providing your land interest is registered with the Land Registry, you should have been approached by our land agents directly.
For our main works, including the construction of our converter stations, our normal working hours are typically 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 2pm on Saturdays. However, there may be exceptional circumstances when some works will need to be completed outside of these hours.
Helping society decarbonise is the biggest contribution we can make to the environment and this ambition is the very foundation of EGL1.
However, we must also consider our direct impact and have worked to ensure that our project will meet and exceed environmental standards to protect local wildlife and local ecology.
To minimise the impact of our work we have undertaken a range of environmental assessments around the sites of our proposed converter stations and substations, and along our cable route.
We will not only look to protect existing habitats and prevalent species but will also seek to ensure that local biodiversity is left in a measurably better condition. We will provide, as a minimum, a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain and we will work with our stakeholders to deliver this.
Some people worry that EMFs may have negative health effects. We take these concerns seriously and want to keep the public, our contractors and employees safe. We ensure all of our existing and proposed equipment, including those on this project, comply with independent safety guidelines set to protect us all against EMF exposure. After decades of research the weight of evidence is against there being any health risks of EMFs below the guideline limits.
For further information on EMFs please visit www.emfs.info.
We have a dedicated project community relations team in place who will keep you informed about our works through:
If you would like to discuss the project in more detail or have any questions, please contact us.