New Hampshire PUC approves Eversource’s petition to build 345-kV line

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Feb. 11 approved a petition filed by Public Service Company of New Hampshire d/b/a Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) for a license to build and maintain a new 345-kV electric transmission line, the “3124 Line” and optical ground wires at three locations over and across public lands owned by the state of New Hampshire in the Town of Londonderry.

The PUC also noted that its staff reviewed the petition and recommended that the license be granted. The PUC granted Eversource’s request for the license by order “nisi,” subject to certain conditions related to the safe construction, operation and maintenance of the proposed crossing, the PUC said, adding that it granted the order on a “nisi” basis to ensure that the public receives notice of the docket (DE 15-285) and has an opportunity to request a hearing. All persons interested in responding to the PUC’s action may submit their comments or file a written request for a hearing by March 2.

According to the petition, the existing transmission system cannot, under certain operating conditions, reliably serve southern New Hampshire and northeastern Massachusetts either at peak or off-peak load. The new line will resolve those reliability issues in southern New Hampshire, the PUC added.

In order to meet the reasonable requirements of service to the public, Eversource and New England Power d/b/a National Grid jointly proposed the 3124 Line project, referred to as the “Merrimack Valley Reliability Project,” (MVRP), which will extend from National Grid’s Tewksbury 22A substation in Tewksbury, Mass., to Eversource’s Scobie Pond 345-kV substation in Londonderry, the PUC said.

The portion of the MVRP located in New Hampshire is about 17.9 miles extending from the Massachusetts border in Pelham to the Scobie Pond substation.

The petition indicates that the MVRP resolves regional reliability problems previously identified by ISO New England in the Greater Boston Area Updated Transmission Needs Assessment issued in 2014, the PUC added.

Among other things, the PUC said that any persons responding to comments and requests for hearing are to do so by March 7. Following consideration of any comments and requests for hearing received, the PUC may further extend the final effective date of its order. The PUC added that its order “nisi” is to otherwise become final on March 11, unless the PUC otherwise orders.

National Grid is a subsidiary of National Grid plc.

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Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 16 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at