Connecticut regulators OK grid reliability project

The Connecticut Siting Council (CSC) approved the Interstate Reliability Project, concluding that the Connecticut Light & Power Co.’s (CL&P) project is needed to address system reliability constraints in Connecticut and the region.

This project milestone follows extensive reliability studies conducted by ISO-New England (ISO-NE), the Regional Transmission Operator and system planning authority in New England.

ISO-NE identified a reliability need in southern New England and in early 2012 confirmed that the Interstate Reliability Project is the best solution to meet that need.

In its opinion, the CSC further concluded that the project also has “economic and environmental benefits, and improves system integration both within Connecticut and the region as a whole.”

“The Connecticut Siting Council’s decision recognizes the importance of this project to the future of Connecticut and the rest of New England,” said David Boguslawski, Vice President of Transmission at Northeast Utilities, parent company of CL&P. “In addition to improved system reliability, the Interstate Reliability Project will provide the region’s electricity customers with the infrastructure that is critical to a healthy economy, as well as access to cleaner, competitively-priced energy sources.”

The project is a collaborative effort between CL&P and National Grid, a utility company with service territories in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The Connecticut portion of the Interstate Reliability Project has an estimated cost of $218 million and includes the construction of a new overhead 345-kV transmission line on 37 miles of existing right-of-way from Lebanon, Connecticut, to the Rhode Island border in Thompson, and incorporates substation enhancements.

The Rhode Island and Massachusetts portions of the project extend about 38 miles through National Grid’s service areas. The siting decisions in those states are expected later this year, with construction of the project slated to begin shortly thereafter.

The project is also expected to bring economic benefits to all three southern New England states by creating hundreds of new local jobs and generating new property tax revenue to towns along the project route.

The project is scheduled to be in-service by late 2015. CL&P has notified municipalities and nearby residents along the project route of the CSC decision and expected timeframe for construction. The company will continue to work closely with these customers and neighbors to keep them informed of additional project milestones.

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