Eversource: Construction complete on 345-kV Merrimack Valley Reliability Project

Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) on Dec. 6 said that it has completed construction of the 345-kV Merrimack Valley Reliability Project (MVRP).

The company noted that in partnership with National Grid, it began construction of the transmission line between Londonderry, N.H., and Tewksbury, Mass., in fall 2016, and will put the line into service this month.

The MVRP runs along existing utility rights of way (ROWs), with about 18 miles through Londonderry, Hudson, Windham, and Pelham in New Hampshire, and about 6.5 miles through Dracut, Andover, and Tewksbury in Massachusetts, for a total length of about 24.5 miles, Eversource said.

The company noted that it worked closely with Londonderry and Hudson officials and property owners, fulfilling all commitments to mitigate impacts from the project as promised, and maintaining constant communication with residents and local officials throughout construction.

Eversource also said that it and National Grid jointly invested a total of nearly $129m in New Hampshire and Massachusetts to bolster the regional infrastructure. The company said that project construction included many local workers, including Michels Corporation, lineworkers from IBEW Local 104 and a core group of New Hampshire-based management and companies, including: U.S. Silt & Site SupplyRedimix Companies Inc.New England Mat Company; and Busby Construction.

ES Boulos Company utilized lineworkers, electricians and laborers from New Hampshire Local Unions 104, 490 and 976 to complete substation construction, as well as New Hampshire-based crane services, suppliers and material distributors, Eversource said.

Other Eversource projects

Another Eversource project that is moving along in New Hampshire is the 192-mile Northern Pass transmission project, for which, as TransmissionHub reported, the U.S. Department of Energy recently issued a record of decision and approved the Presidential permit. That project is designed to deliver up to 1,090 MW of hydropower from Québec, Canada, to Deerfield, N.H.

Also, a decision by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) on the company’s approximately 13-mile, 115-kV Seacoast Reliability Project is anticipated in 4Q17, according to that project’s webpage.

An Eversource spokesperson on Dec. 7 told TransmissionHub that the SEC has not yet ruled on the Seacoast Reliability Project. The schedule has paused to allow the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) to consider testimony and comments from various stakeholders, he said.

“We anticipate the DES to complete its consideration this month,” the spokesperson said. “The SEC will then issue a schedule for the remainder of its permitting process, including final hearings."

Pending SEC approval, construction on that project – which involves overhead, underground, and submarine transmission lines in Madbury, Durham, Newington, and Portsmouth in New Hampshire – would begin in 1Q18, and the projected in-service date for the project is in 4Q18, according to the webpage.

The project, which also includes substation upgrades, would improve the transmission system in the New Hampshire Seacoast area so that customers would have reliable electric power to meet their growing energy needs, in keeping with national and regional reliability standards, the webpage noted.

Another project that is underway is the Mystic to Woburn Line Project, which includes a new, approximately eight-mile, 115-kV underground transmission line that will connect the Mystic substation in Everett, Mass., and the Woburn substation. That project’s webpage further noted that the line will pass through Everett, Boston (Charlestown), Somerville, Medford, Winchester, and Woburn in Massachusetts. Construction on the project began in July, according to the webpage.

Another Eversource spokesperson on Dec. 7 told TransmissionHub that year-end 2018 is the company’s target date for completion of the project.

Additionally, construction began in November on the Walpole to Holbrook Reliability Project, which Eversource is building to improve reliability and address the growing need for electricity in the Greater Boston, Mass., area and surrounding areas, according to that project’s webpage.

The project includes a new, approximately 14.7-mile, overhead, 115-kV transmission line on an existing ROW that will connect the Walpole substation in Walpole, Mass., and the Holbrook substation in Holbrook, the webpage noted.

As part of the project, Eversource will also install new structures between the West Walpole substation and the Walpole substation, install a new switching station in Sharon, and make modifications to the existing substations in Walpole and Holbrook, according to the webpage.

The project’s estimated in-service date is May 2019, according to the webpage.

The South Boston Substation project is complete and the substation is energized, the spokesperson said.

“Crews are currently installing some of the remaining distribution cables in street duct banks and we will begin road restoration/paving in the spring of 2018,” the spokesperson said.

As noted on that project’s webpage, with significant load growth and rapid business and residential development, Eversource will build the new 115/14-kV substation on Seafood Way in South Boston, Mass. The project will include the construction of underground distribution and transmission line segments, connecting the new substation to existing infrastructure, according to the webpage.

Another project that is underway is the Westfield Reliability Project, which involves a new transmission line and a new switching station in Westfield, Mass. The upgrade is one of a suite of projects designed to improve the reliability of the electric system serving the Pittsfield-Greenfield area, the project’s webpage added.

The new, approximately three-mile, 115-kV, overhead line would be installed on existing structures along Eversource’s ROW from the Pochassic substation – near Oakdale Avenue in Westfield – to the Buck Pond substation – near Madeiros Way in Westfield, the webpage noted. The company would also build the new Atwater switching station adjacent to the existing Pochassic substation, and make upgrades to the existing Buck Pond substation, the webpage said.

Eversource has not yet filed for approval of that project with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, and pending all necessary approvals, construction is set to start in 4Q18, the spokesperson said.

Also, Eversource is looking to put into service in 4Q17 the Bloomfield-Windsor Transmission Upgrade Project, which involves making substation upgrades and improvements to existing transmission lines in Bloomfield and Windsor in Connecticut, according to that project’s webpage.

Another Eversource spokesperson on Dec. 7 told TransmissionHub, “We are currently completing the Bloomfield-Windsor project and estimate that it will be energized by [Dec.] 21.”

According to the project’s webpage, in Bloomfield, the company is separating 6.9 miles of an existing transmission line and moving it from existing structures onto new structures. Eversource said that it is also installing new equipment at the North Bloomfield and Bloomfield substations. In Windsor, the company said that it is reconfiguring an existing transmission line outside the Rood Avenue substation, while adding new equipment and expanding the substation’s fence line.

Another project that is in the works is the Greenwich Substation and Line Project; in November, the Connecticut Siting Council (CSC) voted to approve Eversource’s application to build the project in Greenwich, according to that project’s webpage.

The company is preparing to build the new, 2.3-mile, 115-kV, underground line and the new substation to enhance its ability to reliably serve customers. The line will extend from Eversource’s existing Cos Cob substation on Sound Shore Drive to the new substation at 290 Railroad Avenue, the webpage added, noting that the line will run mostly underground within town streets, including the streets in Bruce Park. Also, modifications will be made to equipment at the Cos Cob substation. The webpage further noted that construction is set to begin in mid-2018.

The spokesperson said that construction on the Southwest Connecticut Reliability Project is scheduled to begin the week of Dec. 11.

According to that project’s webpage, the project involves a new, approximately 3.4-mile, 115-kV, overhead transmission line that will cross through Bethel, Danbury, and Brookfield in Connecticut. The webpage noted that the line will be located entirely within Eversource’s existing transmission line ROW from the Plumtree substation – near Walnut Hill Road in Bethel – to an area near Park Ridge Road in Brookfield. The project also involves related modifications to the Plumtree substation in Bethel and the Stony Hill substation in Brookfield. The webpage added that the project’s estimated in-service date is by the end of 2018.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2807 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 13 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 corinar@pennwell.com.