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Blank Canvas: Can We Turn Electricity Substations Into Nature-positive Assets?

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“How could you use the operational area of an electricity substation to provide gains for biodiversity and the environment — for example, to reduce flood risk or generate renewable energy? Currently these developments have big areas of hardstanding and the buildings are large — dare I say uninspiring — steel-clad structures. As these are transmission assets, there are huge constraints due to electrical safety, operations, maintenance and cost, and we can’t create any extra hazards. At the moment, we deliver all of our biodiversity net gains in the non-operational area around the development — but does that need to be the case? What about green surfaces, photovoltaics, food production or using the heat generated from the equipment for something else? Different designs? Subterranean substations!”

Francis Williams / environmental net gain manager / Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks

1. Team UK

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