The Norwich to Tilbury project will support the UK’s net zero target through the connection of new low carbon energy generation and by reinforcing the region's transmission network.

Norwich to Tilbury is a proposal by National Grid Electricity Transmission (National Grid) to reinforce the high voltage power network in East Anglia between the existing substations at Norwich Main in Norfolk, Bramford in Suffolk, and Tilbury in Essex, as well as connect new offshore wind generation.

We are proposing to build approximately 184 km of new electricity transmission reinforcement between Norwich and Tilbury. This will be made up mostly of overhead line and pylons, along with some underground cables and a new 400 kV substation. Our proposals are part of The Great Grid Upgrade – the largest overhaul of the grid in generations.

Norwich to Tilbury will play a vital role in delivering electricity efficiently, reliably, and safely and will support the UK’s move to reduce carbon emissions.

The way we generate electricity in the UK is changing rapidly and we're transitioning to cheaper, cleaner and more secure forms of energy, like new offshore windfarms. We need to make changes to the network of overhead lines, pylons, cables and other infrastructure that transports electricity around the country, so that everyone has access to the clean electricity from these new renewable sources.

The Government has set a commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and an ambition to connect 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030 – enough energy to power every home in the country.

To achieve this, offshore wind is being developed at scale and around 60% of the current offshore wind projects will come ashore along the East Coast.

Couple this with new nuclear generation proposed at Sizewell C and greater interconnection with countries across the North Sea, we expect to see a significant increase in the level of renewable and low carbon electricity generation connecting in East Anglia.

While our existing high voltage electricity network in East Anglia has been sufficient until today, it doesn’t have the capability needed to reliably and securely transport all the energy that will be connected by 2030 while working to the required standards.

In the first half of this decade, we are investing significantly in upgrading the existing network, but that still won’t deliver the capability that is needed. We need to reinforce the region’s network and to increase the network capability to carry the clean green energy that is proposed.

We are committed to working with local communities as we develop our plans. We want local residents to have the opportunity to access the new jobs, business opportunities and positive biodiversity and environmental improvements that The Great Grid Upgrade can deliver.

Norwich to Tilbury map

View the full interactive map of the route.

View interactive map
Why we need Norwich to Tilbury?

East Anglia’s 400,000 volts (400 kV) electricity transmission network was built in the 1960s to supply regional demand, centred around Norwich and Ipswich. With the growth in new energy generation from offshore wind, nuclear power and interconnection with other countries, there will be more electricity connected in East Anglia than the network can currently accommodate.  

Over the next decade we expect over 15,000 MW of new generation and 4,500 MW of new interconnection will need to connect in the region.

This includes:

  • new offshore wind farms connecting into Necton and Norwich
  • Five Estuaries and North Falls offshore wind farms: both currently in development off the east coast and expected to be in operation by 2030
  • Tarchon Energy interconnector: 1,400 MW interconnector between UK and Germany, proposed to connect at the Tendring Peninsula. 

In its current state, the high voltage electricity network in East Anglia doesn't have sufficient capacity to accommodate this new generation which is why Norwich to Tilbury is needed.

Our proposals include building a new 400,000 volts (400 kV) electricity overhead transmission line, work at existing substations and building a new substation to connect new proposed offshore wind farms to the electricity transmission network.

Nationally significant infrastructure projects

As our current plans propose more than 2 kilometres (km) of overhead line, we expect the Project would be classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) under the Planning Act 2008. This means we need to apply for a type of planning consent called a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build and operate it. 

Once the DCO application is submitted, the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State, has up to 28 days to decide whether or not the application meets the standards required to be accepted for examination.

If the application is accepted, it will go through a six-month examination period.  Careful consideration is given by the Examining Authority, including to all relevant and written representations, and supporting evidence. The Examining Authority is the Inspector or the Panel of Inspectors appointed to conduct the Examination of the application for the DCO.

The Planning Inspectorate must prepare a report on the application and submit this to the Secretary of State, including a recommendation, within three months of the close of Examination. The Secretary of State has a further three months to make a decision on whether to grant or refuse development consent. 

Project Timeline

The indicative timeline below details our anticipated development programme, including when we will consult on our proposals and when you will be able to share your views. 

Indicative timeline for the Norwich to Tilbury project. View larger image.

More information

How we develop projects

Learn more about how National Grid develops projects

Our proposals

View our development programme and next steps.

Information for landowners

Read information for landowners and persons with an interest in land related to the project.

Public consultation

Learn more about our third stage of consultation and view an interactive map of our proposals

About Norwich to Tilbury

What we know so far and why the project is needed.

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Document library

View all documentation and materials for Norwich to Tilbury.

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to the frequently asked questions.

Contact us

Get in touch with our Community Relations team.