New Hampshire regulators on March 8 approved Public Service of New Hampshire’s (PSNH) plan to install a new 115-kV transmission line and remove and replace a segment of an existing 115-kV line.
According to the state Public Utilities Commission, the Northeast Utilities (NYSE:NU) wholly owned subsidiary filed a petition in November 2011 requesting a license to construct and maintain electric lines, static wire and fiber optic cable at two locations over and across the public waters of the Merrimack River in the towns of Merrimack and Litchfield, N.H.
According to the petition, the existing 115-kV line, known as the K165 Line, runs in a generally north-south direction between PSNH’s Reeds Ferry substation in Merrimack and Power Street substation in Hudson. An existing 115-kV tap off the K165 Line runs in a generally east-west direction from the tap point in Litchfield to PSNH’s Anheuser Busch substation in Merrimack, or the “Busch Tap,” crossing over the Merrimack River in each of those towns, the PUC said.
According to PSNH, in order to continue to meet the reasonable requirements of service to the public, it is necessary to reconfigure the existing K165 Line by splitting the line at a point in Litchfield into two separate 115-kV transmission lines, resulting in the removal of the existing K165 Line Busch Tap and its crossing, to be replaced by two separate 115-kV lines, each of which will cross over the Merrimack River in the same general location as the existing crossing.
The company also said that the two separate lines are needed to interconnect into a new PSNH 115-kV transmission switchyard, designated the Eagle substation, under construction on PSNH-owned property in Merrimack on the west side of the Merrimack River.
The Eagle substation is needed to power a new PSNH distribution substation, designated the Thornton substation, which is also under construction in the same vicinity as the Eagle substation, and which is being built to increase electric system infrastructure reliability in the area.
The PUC also said that based on the information presented, it finds “the proposing crossing necessary for PSNH to meet the reasonable requirements of reliable service to the public within PSNH’s authorized franchise area…and that the requested license may be exercised without substantially affecting the public rights in the affected public waters.”
The PUC said its decision is issued on a “nisi” basis in order to provide any interested party the opportunity to submit comments on PSNH’s petition or to request a hearing. Anyone interested in responding to the order may submit comments or request a hearing by March 14. The order is to be effective March 19, the PUC added.
A company spokesperson told TransmissionHub March 9 that PSNH expects the line to be in service in May.