National Grid


Development of an innovative design concept for electrical pylons in order to provide an alternative to classic lattice pylons.



  • Create a pylon that addresses visual amenity concerns
  • Create a family of pylons in order to cover the range of classic lattice pylons
  • Meet the technical safety and reliability requirements


Main information:

The T-pylon (created by Bystrup) is the winning design concept of a competition of alternative pylons organised by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate (DECC), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and National Grid. It has been developed in cooperation with structural engineers, insulator suppliers and UK universities.

The T-shaped pylon supports two innovative diamond-shaped insulators to electrically separate the conductors. Current lattice pylons use phase-to-earth insulation in a vertical formation, whereas the T-pylon utilises phase-to-phase insulation leading to a compact novel design. The pylon is typically 35 metres tall, which is around 15 metres shorter than the equivalent 400 kV lattice tower - a key factor in the context of gaining more acceptability. The design also allows for simple and rapid construction as it only has ten main components (plus bolts). It is scalable to fit lower voltage lines and uses material that is common but not usually employed in the construction of pylons – mainly steel and iron. The nominal design life is 80 years with minimal maintenance.

To meet all operational needs as an alternative for new transmission routes, a whole family of T-pylons, including pylons that enable the line to deviate or terminate at a substation or cable connection point.


Additional information:

National Grid is an international electricity and gas company based in the UK and the Northeastern US. National Grid owns and maintains the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales balancing supply with demand on a minute-by-minute basis.


RGI gratefully acknowledges the EU LIFE funding support:

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.