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Can Better Designed Power Pylons Slash Fossil-Fuel Use?

Can Better Designed Power Pylons Slash Fossil-Fuel Use?

A Danish studio recently won an architecture competition to refresh the U.K.’s outdated electricity pylons. Bystrup triumphed over 250 other entries with a minimal T-shaped tower that’s designed to respect its surroundings while helping Britain slash its dependence on fossil fuels.

The U.K. has a goal of cutting carbon emissions 80% by 2050. To do so, it needs to build a fresh army of electricity pylons to connect to new wind, nuclear, and hydroelectric plants. But the existing lattice towers are huge and–164 feet tall and a whopping 30 tons each–and they haven’t been updated since the late 1920s. Bystrup’s T-Pylon will be a full two-thirds shorter and thinner. And with its barely there silhouette, it’s envisioned as the gentlest imposition on the landscape this side of running cables underground (which is difficult and expensive).

Concepts for aesthetically minded energy infrastructure aren’t new. But Bystrup’s design stands out in that it might actually leave the drawing board. The U.K. Guardian reports:

National Grid engineers will now work closely with the Copenhagen-based practice Bystrup to develop the design into a production model, and the T-Pylon – or something close to the competition entry – will soon enough be stepping politely across the hills, dales, sunlit uplands and rain-drenched lowlands of Britain.

[Images courtesy of Bystrup]

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