BERLIN, Conn. and WALTHAM, Mass. – Cleaner, competitively priced electricity
now has a new way to reach customers in southern New England due to the completion
of the Interstate Reliability Project (IRP). Eversource and National Grid partnered
on the approximately $483 million project, which included station upgrades and the
installation of a new 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line along 75 miles of
existing, contiguous rights-of-way in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The new line and related improvements will enhance reliable delivery of power to
customers throughout New England and strengthen the regional electric grid.
“The Interstate Reliability Project improves the efficiency of the grid by
eliminating system bottlenecks and improving the flow of power within our
region,” said David Boguslawski, Vice President of Transmission Strategy &
Operations at Eversource. “The project also supports the region’s economic
growth and environmental goals through greater access to newer, more efficient, and
cleaner generating plants.”
By strengthening the backbone of the regional grid, the project delivers
environmental benefits such as enabling broader regional access to future renewable
energy resources and allowing existing renewable resources to reach previously
constrained areas. Additionally, farmland was protected as conservation land and
critical wildlife habitats received special care during construction. Once the work
was complete, the restored rights-of-way added hundreds of acres of important new
wildlife habitat that has been shrinking in New England.
“As we look to connect new energy sources, stabilize costs for customers and
maintain the reliable service needed to underpin the economic vitality of our
communities and our region, a robust, resilient transmission system is a
must,” said Rudy Wynter, President and Chief Operating Officer of National
Grid’s FERC-regulated Businesses. “The completion of this project marks
a major step towards achieving that goal.”
Along with the system reliability and environmental benefits, the IRP will also
produce millions of dollars of new, annual property tax revenues to 18
municipalities in the three states where the project was constructed. Additionally,
hundreds of workers were employed to work on the IRP that began in early 2014.
The completion of the IRP caps off the New England East West Solution or
“NEEWS” – a suite of projects designed to strengthen the
reliability of the regional power grid by improving its efficiency and eliminating
crippling congestion that can be very costly for customers. Collectively, the NEEWS
projects are the largest upgrade to the regional transmission system in many years.
During the past 10 years, while the NEEWS projects were being planned, sited and
developed, New England experienced an unprecedented wave of power plant retirements,
which made these robust, long-term transmission improvements even more important.
Click here to view Interstate Reliability Project Map
Rights-of-way miles: 75
States: Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Number of towns along the route: 18
Miles of wire: 679 miles; enough to stretch from Providence, RI to Durham, NC
Number of tubular steel structures: 899
Total weight of the steel: 18.4 million pounds
Amount of concrete for structure foundations: 22,446 cubic yards (equivalent to
2,244 mixer truckloads); enough cubic yards to fill a 21-story building more
than 50 square feet
Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity to 1.2 million customers in
149 cities and towns and provides natural gas to 220,000 customers in 71 communities
in Connecticut. Eversource harnesses the commitment of its approximately 8,000
employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission
of delivering reliable energy and superior customer service. For more information,
please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter
(@EversourceCT) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceCT).
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery
company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through
its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest
distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the
systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.
Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity
and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter,
cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities’
long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives
in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid
Modernization). For more information, please visit our website, or our Connecting
website, follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, friend us on Facebook, and find
our photos on Instagram.