National Grid and Eversource Energy are proposing to construct an eight-mile, high-voltage transmission line underground between Woburn and Wakefield.

At no cost to the town, the line would go into service in 2018 and would be expected to generate $1.5 million in annual tax revenue.

Proposed Woburn-to-Wakefield electric line could yield $1.5M in annual taxes

By Christopher Roberson
Correspondent

Posted Mar. 31, 2015 at 6:00 PM 

National Grid and Eversource Energy are proposing to construct an eight-mile, high-voltage transmission line underground between Woburn and Wakefield.

At no cost to the town, the line would go into service in 2018 and would be expected to generate $1.5 million in annual tax revenue.

“It’s a win-win project for the town of Wakefield,” said National Grid Project Manager Bryan Hudock during his March 23 presentation to the Board of Selectmen. He added that there has never been a line linking the two communities.

However, a 2008 study conducted by ISO New England revealed “a potential overload in transmission lines,” with Greater Boston and southern New Hampshire having the greatest demand in New England.

Known as the Woburn to Wakefield Line Project, the line would carry 345 kilovolts (345,000 volts) of electricity from the Eversource substation in Woburn to the National Grid Wakefield Junction substation.

Hudock said that from Woburn, the line would pass through Winchester and Stoneham before entering Wakefield under Albion Street. It would then travel under Broadway to Salem Street, turn south onto Montrose Avenue and end at the substation.

The trench that would house the line would be five feet deep by four feet wide.

Although 3 1/2 miles of the line would be in Wakefield, Hudock said approximately one mile would be located under an inactive rail bed.

“The project is designed to correct the transmission system as a whole,” said Hudock.

He said the project must also fulfill 11 requirements on the local, state and federal levels before it can move forward.

Town Administrator Stephen Maio said the board will have time to ponder the idea.

“This again is in the beginning stages,” he said.

Selectman Betsy Sheeran said she would support the project provided that Richard Stinson, director of the Department of Public Works, is kept in the loop.

“Rick, I know you will be right there,” she said. “Everybody is going to have to be on the same page.”

National Grid and Eversource will be hosting an Open House in Wakefield on April 30.

http://wakefield.wickedlocal.com/article/20150331/NEWS/150339263