Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall open new London Power Tunnels project | London

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have officially opened a new electricity superhighway supplying power to the capital from deep below London’s streets.

National Grid workers have prepared the project, which will see high voltage electricity cables stretching through 20 miles of underground tunnels, over the past seven years. It is about 32 metres (100 feet) below the surface, and will provide the power supply for Crossrail. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have officially opened the superhighway, with the Prince of Wales heading underground to get a closer look at the rewiring of the capital. Charles donned a hard hat as he was given a tour of the tunnels, while Camilla was shown an above-ground substation with a view into the tunnels.

Charles and Camilla also met school children, who visited National Grid’s education centre, set up to encourage young people to learn more about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

The prince has a longstanding interest in helping more young people into STEM subjects, and will have the chance to meet some of the 8,000 pupils from schools across London who visited the centre over the last five years, which was run and staffed by engineers working on the project.

The London Power Tunnels project has been created to meet increasing demand for power. The £1 billion scheme has taken seven years to complete, but has come in under time and under budget. It will supply 20 per cent of the capital’s growing electricity needs using 125 miles of high voltage cabling.

National Grid say that much of London’s electricity supply is transmitted through cables just below the streets, and work to maintain them, carried out at street level, can cause problems. By moving the supply to cables deep underground, there will be less disruption during construction and for maintenance and repairs, National Grid said.

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