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UK Power Pylon Competition Will Raise Consciousness

by Marlo Lewis on May 23, 2011

in Features

 “The UK’s National Grid has launched a competition to design the electricity pylons of the future that will carry green electricity from onshore and offshore wind farms, and other power sources, to the consumer,” Power-Gen Worldwide reports. The winning architect, designer, engineer, or student of those disciplines will receive a £10,000 ($16,131) prize. The public will be invited to comment on the final contestants in September, and an expert panel will select the winner in October. 

Both the competition and the design selected are intended to raise consciousness. From the article:

The UK has around 88,000 pylons built in a steel lattice tower using a design that has barely changed since the 1920s.
Chris Huhne, UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said: “The dual challenge of climate change and energy security puts us on the brink of a new energy construction age. The equivalent of 20 new power stations is needed by 2020, much more beyond that, and they’ll all need connecting to the grid.”
“I hope that the pylon design competition will ignite creative excitement, but also help the wider public understand the scale of the energy challenge ahead of us,” he added.

Contestants are encouraged to come up with original designs:

The UK’s competition follows similar competitions in Italy and Iceland. Designs included a series of giants striding across the landscape holding cables in their hands, and lean Y-shaped pylons intended to resemble the shoots of new plants.

Okay, so we know the winning design won’t look like this:

But a “series of giants striding across the landscape” — cool! Imagine seeing this guy holding cables at the mouth of the Thames Estuary!

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