Eversource (NYSE:ES) on Dec. 10 said that the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) has unanimously approved construction of the company’s 13-mile, 115-kV Seacoast Reliability Project (SRP) that costs more than $84m and is designed to enhance reliability of the electric system, as well as support continued economic growth in the Seacoast region.
The project, which will be built almost completely within existing rights of way (ROWs) between Madbury and Portsmouth, will address a need for additional transmission capacity that has been identified by ISO New England (ISO-NE), the company said.
Prior to the SEC process, ISO-NE identified an urgent need for additional transmission capacity in the Seacoast region – one of the leading areas in New Hampshire and New England for economic growth – and selected the SRP as the preferred solution to meet that need, the company said.
To build the project and bolster regional infrastructure, Eversource will invest more than $84m in the region, with estimated property tax payments for Madbury, Durham, Newington, and Portsmouth in the first year following the SRP being placed into service totaling more than $900,000. Eversource also said that while that investment will result in direct benefits for New Hampshire communities, residents, and businesses, the cost of the project will be paid by all electric customers in New England.
Eversource said that in addition to working closely with local officials, residents, businesses, environmental groups, and other stakeholders in the host communities throughout construction, the company will follow guidelines already established in comprehensive construction agreements and discussions with Portsmouth, Newington, Durham, UNH and Madbury.
Eversource spokesperson Kaitlyn Woods on Dec. 10 told TransmissionHub that the SEC issued its oral decision unanimously approving the project.
“Our understanding is it’s the committee’s goal to issue its written decision in early February," Woods said. “Our goal is to continue working closely with the communities that will host the project, begin construction in the spring of 2019 and put the SRP into service in Dec. 2019.”