Regional Electric Transmission Reliability Project Receives Final Regulatory Approval
Construction to begin this fall; Project is expected to create more than 1,000 local jobs
MANCHESTER, N.H. (October 5, 2016) – New Hampshire regulators have given final approval to the Merrimack Valley Reliability Project, which Eversource and National Grid expect to begin constructing this fall. The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) issued its Certificate of Approval for the new overhead 345 kV transmission line to be built in an existing right-of-way between Londonderry, New Hampshire and Tewksbury, Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved the Massachusetts portion of the project in April 2016.
“The Merrimack Valley Reliability Project answers an urgent need to strengthen the area’s electric system and ensure the continued reliable delivery of energy,” said Eversource Vice President of Electrical Operations Joe Purington. “This decision recognizes that our plan to maintain and operate our transmission system and meet the expectations of our customers is appropriate.”
“This project will strengthen the power grid that underpins the economic vitality and powers the quality of life in the region,” said Rudy Wynter, president of National Grid’s FERC Regulated Businesses. “A robust, reliable transmission system is critical to support job growth and enable our 21st century economy.”
The MVRP will run along existing utility rights-of-way, with approximately 18 miles through Londonderry, Hudson, Windham, and Pelham in New Hampshire and approximately 6.5 miles through Dracut, Andover, and Tewksbury in Massachusetts, for a total length of approximately 24.5 miles.
National Grid and Eversource will jointly invest a total of nearly $129 million* in New Hampshire and Massachusetts to bolster the regional infrastructure. The utilities estimate that during peak construction the project will create more than 1,000 local jobs in both states.
In July, the Site Evaluation Committee verbally approved the project and said it would later issue a Certificate of Site and Facility, which happened Tuesday, October 4. The decision followed rounds of public information sessions and public hearings in the New Hampshire counties through which the new line will pass.
Keeping open the lines of communication with local communities will continue to be a hallmark of the project. The project team will hold community meetings to inform residents, property and business owners and other interested parties about work activities and schedules. Project representatives from Eversource and National Grid will continue to communicate directly with local officials and project neighbors along the right-of-way throughout the construction and restoration process and will post regular updates on the project web page.
*An earlier version of this news release included an inaccurate number.)