"The benefit of working with Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions is that within the Balfour Beatty Group they have the full range of capability to deliver the project. We were able to get all of the knowledge in one place"
Ian Currie, Alliance Manager, National Grid
The high voltage electricity network in the UK requires significant upgrades to meet growing demand and to connect to new generation sources, such as windfarms. Electricity Alliance East, a National Grid-led alliance with Balfour Beatty, is one of six such partnerships throughout England and Wales. Its purpose is to refurbish and extend 275kV and 400kV overhead line and underground cabling networks in Eastern England; from the Scottish border to the South Coast.
Balfour Beatty was awarded the inital five year £550m Electricity Alliance East contract in 2007, with a further five year extension worth up to a further £750m awarded in 2012.
The alliance has a large and complex programme involving the design and delivery of many major projects. With over 20 projects in the delivery stage, and another 60-80 in scheme development and design at any one time, the alliance structure ensures a robust process for initiating and managing integrated projects through colocated teams and shared resources.
Bafour Beatty’s involvement in early stage conceptual design and optioneering has brought significant benefits, including realistic and accurate project budgets and timescales, increased opportunity for safety by design and the opportunity to bring recent innovations, such as the catenary support system (CSS) and the Tunnel Cabling Machine (TCM) into the construction stage.
Over the last five years, the alliance team has delivered a number of vital projects for National Grid, such as the Norwich – Walpole overhead line refurbishment project, essential for the supply of electricity in and around East Anglia and the Woodhead Tunnel project, which has provided a new 400kV electricity supply to Greater Manchester.
The five year extension ensures the future supply of electricity essential to modern life, for customers in Eastern England for decades to come.
Key facts and figures
the number of projects that may be in scheme development at any one time
the contract value
Case studies in this sector
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Ensuring the ongoing security and reliability of London’s electricity supply and providing a step change in cable installation technology.
The Woodhead Cable Tunnel forms an important strategic link in the UK’s electricity network.
Helping to meet the increasing demand for electricity in New Zealand.