NSTAR Electric d/b/a Eversource Energy on July 17 filed its sixth annual “Condition N Compliance Report” with the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, noting that the Walpole to Holbrook Reliability Project is projected to be completed in October.
As noted in the filing, in Condition N of the final decision issued in September 2017 for the project, the board directed Eversource to submit an updated and certified cost estimate for the project prior to the start of construction. The board further directed the company to file semi-annual compliance reports with the board 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 company also said that the projected total cost for the new 115-kV line component of the project remains $29.9m, and the actual costs as of May 31 totaled $28.8m. The projected total cost for the Sharon switching station improvements component of the project remains $20.3m, and the actual costs as of May 31 totaled $17.4m. The projected total cost for the project remains $50.2m, while the total actual cost for the project as of May 31 was $46.2m, the company added.
The projected completion date for each project component has been extended four months to October, the company said, noting that these drivers, which were not anticipated or known at the time the fifth semi-annual Condition N Compliance Report was filed, are the principle causes for the extended schedule:
- Rescheduling of an outage for the cutover of one of the existing 115-kV transmission lines because of uncertainty surrounding workforce availability during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Gate redesign that has delayed the installation of the screen wall and final landscaping
As noted in the filing, both the new line and Sharon switching station improvements were projected to be completed in June.
As noted on the project’s webpage, the project will cover about 14.7 miles between the West Walpole and Holbrook substations, with the new line to be placed almost entirely on existing structures.
The towns involved are Avon, Canton, Holbrook, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, and Walpole in Massachusetts, the site noted.