New map shows where electricity cables have gone underground

JAMES BOARDMAN / CONNORS 01273 486851 UK Power Networks engineers dismantle 1.3km of power lines in the Kent countryside near to Sir Winston Churchill's former home Chartwell. The company, which owns and operates Kent’s electricity network, is removing the 11,000-volt power lines and poles. The project being carried out with the help of a £6.6million funding pot to put power lines underground in special landscapes such as the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The total investment for the project is £224,840

Sometimes you have to appreciate what’s not there. Power cables, for example, which often blight some of our prettiest views.

UK Power Networks, the country’s largest electricity distributor, is the first in the industry to launch an online map showing where over 100 miles of overhead cables have been “undergrounded”. We’re not huge fans of their choice of verb, but the map is pretty cool.

It highlights where the company has managed to restore historic countryside views, particularly in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks. This is partly thanks to funding from Ofgem, which encourages electricity companies to preserve the beauty of rural areas.

The project map also encourages people to suggest which other power lines could be considered in the East and South East of England, where UK Power Networks delivers power.

Viewers can log on to learn about completed projects totaling 170km (under orange ‘pins’) and planned projects (blue ‘pins’). The map is constantly updated as projects are planned, started and finished.                                 

The inspiration for the project map came from the success of UK Power Networks’ existing power cut map, which enables people to see the progress to restore supplies after any power cuts throughout London, the South and South East of England.