NSTAR Electric d/b/a Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) on Jan. 11 filed with the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) its third annual “Condition N Compliance Report” in relation with its Walpole to Holbrook Reliability Project.
As noted in the filing, in Condition N of a September 2017 final decision for the project, the EFSB directed Eversource to submit to the EFSB an updated and certified cost estimate for the project prior to the start of construction. Additionally, the EFSB directed the company to file semi-annual compliance reports with the EFSB starting within 60 days of the start of construction that include projected and actual construction costs and explanations for any discrepancies between projected and actual costs and completion dates, as well as an explanation of the company’s internal capital authorization approval process.
The Dec. 31, 2018, projected total costs were $18.4m for the new 115-kV line component of the project, as well as $16.2m for the Sharon switching station improvements component of the project, for a total of $34.6m. The actual costs as of Nov. 30, 2018, were $15.7m for the new 115-kV line, and $11.3m for the Sharon switching station improvements, for a total of $27m, the company said.
Eversource said that at this time, the projected total costs as of Dec. 31, 2018, have not been revised, and that its revised projections reflecting a cost increase are undergoing internal review. The company said that it intends to file the revised costs and explanations with the EFSB as soon as it is practical to do so instead of waiting for the next semi-annual compliance filing in July.
The projected completion date for the project has been extended three months to December, Eversource said, adding that the principal drivers for the extended schedule, which were not anticipated or known at the time the second semi-annual Condition N Compliance Report to the EFSB was filed, are challenges in receiving approved outage and other permits, associated construction sequencing impacts, and unforeseen environmental mitigation requirements.
As noted on the project’s webpage, the project includes a new overhead 115-kV transmission line on an existing right of way (ROW) that will connect the Walpole substation in Walpole, Mass., and the Holbrook substation in Holbrook.
The project will cover about 14.7 miles between the West Walpole and Holbrook substations, the site noted, adding that the new line between Walpole and Holbrook will be placed almost entirely on existing structures. The site said that 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.