Complex cable route through Sheffield requires a sharp mind for design approval.

Utility Engineering Solutions Ltd is awarded a contract to carry out the contestable design for a 33kV biomass facility located in Sheffield.

The Project

A new 41MWe biomass plant to be established in Sheffield which will provide enough power for 78,000 homes and save over 150,000 tons of CO2 every year.

The generation facility will be supplied by local processing hubs and will be fuelled by waste wood. The biomass facility in turn will be directly connected to the distribution network via a below ground cable circuit.

Northern Powergrid (NPg) confirmed a point of connection onto its 33kV distribution network and a contestable design had to be prepared and submitted for review and approval, prior to commencement of cable installation works and substation construction.

The Design Aspects

The design team at UES was appointed to carry out a detailed design of the 2.8-mile 33kV cable route across Sheffield and the associated 33kV substation located at the biomass facility.

Planning of the cable route had to take into consideration the location and disposition of other power cables operating up to 33kV, as well as the crossing of major assets such as a 275kV transmission line owned and operated by National Grid.

Using complex cable modelling software, UES design engineers set to work on the most appropriate route having assessed the mutual heating effects from other cables, cable burial depth, containment within bridge structures, backfill material and best route that would avoid other buried utility apparatus. Following a series of meetings with NPg cable engineers, to discuss and agree the cable route and design, the UES design solution was formally approved.

The cable route approval was shortly followed by approval for the 33kV substation design, power system studies and earthing studies.