It is part of a national Green Recovery Scheme that saw up to £300m made available for investment in vital electricity networks across the country, to fast-track future developments that will electrify the nation’s seas, skies and streets in the race to net zero.
Northern Powergrid the electricity network operator for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, reviewed evidence from local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, local businesses and developers.
This evidence was used to create a final shortlist of 14 projects for submission as part of the national scheme.
The electricity regulator Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have approved all the shortlisted projects for investment – leading to a £53m cash injection for the region to unlock the North’s electric future.
Patrick Erwin, policy and markets director at Northern Powergrid, said: “This is targeted investment in the region’s energy networks, which will kick-start projects and increase prosperity across the North.
“We play a critical role powering the everyday lives of the communities we serve. Electricity is one of the most important building blocks for economic growth.
“In the coming years our reliance on electricity will increase as we turn to electricity to heat our homes and power our cars.
“As more projects and plans come forward to proactively tackle the climate emergency, they will bring with them the jobs of the future for not only ourselves, but our children and grandchildren and we will play our part in making our future clean, green and prosperous.
“Confirmation of this £53m investment across all 14 projects we proposed is a great boost for the region and could not have happened without the informed input of all those who had their say in where these upgrades are needed most.
“This collaborative effort will positively impact the region and improve its prospects.”
The funding has been sourced from network operators’ existing allowances thanks to cost savings in the current price control period, called RIIO-ED1. These funds will be reallocated to fast-track green developments and the investment will be directed to the most efficient projects.
Sites not on the list for early investment at this point will not miss out and can still be supported during Northern Powergrid’s next business plan period, called RIIO-ED2, which runs from 2023 to 2028.
The investment in network infrastructure will help with the response to the climate emergency by unlocking network capacity that can directly support decarbonisation.
It will also boost economic activity to bring forward more green jobs and support the area to be a leader in clean energy growth. Upgrades to the electricity network will take place within the next two years.
In addition to the 14 projects in the Northern Powergrid area, investment has been awarded up and down the country as part of the national scheme that will see all areas of the UK benefit.
This investment will enable a significant number of projects.
The locations set to benefit
Locations in Northern Powergrid’s operating area set to benefit from green growth-boosting network investment include £3.75m to support economic development and regeneration around Grimsby and Immingham.
It includes £600,000 to create capacity that could enable electric vehicle (EV) charging on the A1 trunk road.
Northern Powergrid will also spend £1.5m each for York and Harrogate to accelerate town and city upgrades that may support more electric bus use, EV charging or other future net zero needs.
It will also invest £11.5m, £6.5m for Scotch Corner junction and £5m for Wetherby.
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