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National Grid and Eversource Energy Propose $520 Million Grid Investment to Significantly Improve Reliability in Greater Boston and Southern New Hampshire

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Today, ISO New England, manager of the region’s power grid, selected National Grid and Eversource Energy’s proposed Greater Boston and New Hampshire Solution as its preferred option to significantly improve the reliability of the region’s power grid.

The alternative solution, known as “SeaLink” and proposed by a unit of Florida-based NextEra Energy, was expected to cost at least a quarter of a billion dollars more than the local companies’ solution.

ISO New England announced the news via its ISO Newswire, stating: “ISO New England has selected the Eversource (formerly Northeast Utilities) and National Grid alternating current (AC) transmission proposal as the preferred transmission solution to bolster the region’s power grid in the Greater Boston area to ensure continued reliability into the future. The all-AC proposal was chosen over another proposal supported by New Hampshire Transmission (NHT), which included the use of both AC and underwater, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) components. The AC plan was ultimately selected because it is significantly less expensive and also because it is superior when other performance criteria are considered.”

The Solution consists of a portfolio of important electric transmission upgrades straddling southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the Merrimack Valley and Greater Boston area. Each is independently needed; together, they will strengthen the backbone of the power grid to meet the growing demand for electricity in the region and reduce bottlenecks on the system that can increase electricity costs. Notable projects include:

  • The Merrimack Valley Reliability Project: a new overhead 345-kV line in existing rights-of-way in Londonderry, Windham, Hudson, and Pelham, NH, and Dracut, Andover, and Tewksbury, MA (in service 2017)
  • The Woburn to Wakefield Line: a new underground 345-kV line through Woburn, Winchester, Stoneham, and Wakefield, MA (in service 2018)
  • The Mystic (Everett) to Woburn Line: a new underground 115-kV line through Everett, Boston (Charlestown), Somerville, Medford, Winchester, and Woburn, MA (in service 2018)

The cost of these three regionally beneficial projects along with the other transmission projects that make up the Solution is estimated to be approximately $520 million. There is also an additional $220 million of projects that are required irrespective of the solution selected by ISO-NE.

All of these costs will be recovered over a period of many years and will be shared among all of New England’s 7 million electricity customers.

“This is a win-win situation for Massachusetts residents and businesses since our solution will help to ensure the future reliability of the region’s electrical grid, while maximizing the project’s economic benefits,” said Rudy Wynter, president of National Grid’s Transmission Business. “We’re proud that ISO New England has designated ours as its preferred solution, and we look forward to working with local communities to make this proposal a reality.”

“We are so pleased to have the support and endorsement of ISO New England as we move forward with our common-sense, cost-effective solution for electricity customers throughout the region,” said Dave Boguslawski, vice president of Transmission Strategy & Operations at Eversource. “There is an urgent need for more energy infrastructure in our region and this is an important milestone in the process of building these crucial transmission projects.”

Both companies are meeting with officials in communities where the projects are proposed, and will be hosting community meetings to discuss the proposals and solicit feedback before submitting them for state regulatory review in the spring. There will be many opportunities for public comment throughout the regulatory review process and the companies have set up a website, www.MA-NHSolution.com, a toll-free number, 844-646-8427, and dedicated email, info@MANHSolution.com, for anyone who wants more information or has questions.

Assuming timely approvals, National Grid and Eversource expect all of the projects to be in service by 2018.

Eversource (NYSE:ES) , formerly Northeast Utilities, operates New England’s largest energy delivery company. Eversource and its companies are committed to safety, reliability, environmental leadership and stewardship, as well as expanding energy options for its more than 3.6 million electric and natural gas customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@EversourceCorp) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceEnergy).

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.

Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st-century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities’ long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization). For more information please visit our website, or our Connecting website, follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, friend us on Facebook, and find our photos on Instagram

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