Morrison Energy Services connects homes and businesses to low carbon energy

25th August 2022

M Group Services and its operating businesses are committed to operating in the most sustainable and forward-thinking manner to benefit the communities and environments in which we operate.

Enabling a lower carbon economy

Morrison Energy Services is applying sustainable methods to National Grid’s Hinkley Connection Project. The next phase of the project will begin in the autumn and will help connect six million homes and businesses to low carbon energy.

The project involves connecting T-pylons near Bridgwater to Hinkley Point C, EDF Energy’s new power station in Somerset. This will be done by upgrading the existing 275kV overhead line near Stogursey and Shurton to 400kV.

Pre- use inspection of platform used for working at height (1)

Using lower carbon engineering methods

One of the main changes Morrison Energy Services is making on this project is using soil stabilisation at tower locations. This is an eco-friendly, sustainable and cost-effective method of producing durable structural ground layers that permit high bearing capacity and strong foundations.

In the UK, many areas of land are unsuitable for construction because the sub-grade soil is too wet, contains too much sand and gravel or has a high clay content to provide a stable base. To address this challenge, the project will mix and compact sub-soil with cement-based binders to increase the ground’s structural and load-bearing properties.

Mixing the soil enhancement material and compacting with subsoil causes a thermal reaction, creating a strong bond within the soil. Once the soil is hardened, a layer of aggregate is spread on the stabilised surface. This process uses significantly less aggregate than traditional methods. The amount of aggregate imported is reduced by almost 5,000 tonnes which is approximately 32%. In total, the soil stabilisation technique reduces emissions by more than three-quarters (76%) compared to traditional methods.

More sustainable site facilities

The team is switching to more eco-friendly approaches on the whole project. Security cabins on-site are entirely self-sufficient in terms of energy and do not need external sources of power. The cabins are designed to use solar power and composite materials to retain heat. These cabins, designed by our supply chain partners, reduce CO2 emissions by 86% in comparison to security cabins that use a generator.

The Hinkley Connection Project team has also adopted a rainwater harvesting system on its site office. The new system provides around a third of the water used on site each month with this expected to increase as construction ramps up. Even in the unprecedented dry weather, the water tank has an adequate supply of harvested water.

David Maddocks, Managing Director for Morrison Energy Services’ Transmission Networks, said: “The Hinkley project is extremely complex with many interfaces and it is great to see our team working so collaboratively with National Grid and other stakeholders to achieve overall success.

“We have been able to demonstrate several environmental innovations, such as soil stabilisation, which have reduced our carbon footprint and reflect our move towards net-zero.”

Protecting habitats and biodiversity

Earlier this year the team completed the first phase of the Shurton line entries, including the construction of haul roads, tower foundations and transmission towers connecting to Shurton substation which is now energised.

During this phase, Morrison Energy Services, in partnership with WSP and Adler and Allan, rescued over 600 fish. Our people needed to construct culverts to drain water in the surrounding area, allowing for the installation of conductors. This would impact the fish and their habitat, so Morrison Energy Services ensured the fish were delicately harvested and relocated helping protect biodiversity in the local area.

The work on the Hinkley Connection Project reinforces M Group Services’ commitment to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero before 2050 as part of our developing ESG strategy. Earlier this year, M Group Services received an industry leading ESG rating of 9.6 based on an in-depth independent analysis by ESG risk ratings agency, Sustainalytics.

The rating puts us among the top one per cent of global companies for our commitment to the environment and sustainability.

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