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February 08. 2013 11:15AM

Electrical company to build new substation in Nashua

NASHUA -- City planners on Thursday authorized the relocation and upgrade of an electrical substation operated by Public Service Company of New Hampshire.


The existing substation is currently housed by Bishop Guertin's ballfields near Lund Road, however that facility will soon be removed and replaced with a new, up-to-date substation at a location further north on the site near Nowell Street.


Elizabeth Bradshaw of Public Service Company of New Hampshire told the Nashua City Planning Board on Thursday that while there have not been any brownouts in that location to date, three years ago they were close to having temporary interruptions of power service being reduced because of the high electrical demand in the area.


As a result, the outdated equipment has been identified as a priority for the electrical company, according to Nick Golon of TF Moran, Inc. In order to prevent power outages or brownouts from occurring in that section of the city, and to ensure customers have an adequate electric supply, two pad-mounted transformers will be installed at the new location, said Golon.


"We will need to keep power going while we install this," he said, explaining the old substation equipment will be removed once the new substation is complete and operating.


He reassured neighbors and city planners that other locations were analyzed for the new substation, but that the Nowell Street area seemed most feasible.


"This improvement needs to take place within the general area," he said, adding the transformers will be housed in green boxes that will not dominate the landscape and will not cause annoying humming sounds.


The new substation will offer 34,000 volts, and include two transformers that will enable one transformer to feed other circuit breakers in case the remaining transformer fails, according to Bradshaw.


"We are basically doubling the capacity," she explained. "This will be more reliable." The new utility poles will be about 35 to 40 feet high, and other site improvements include part of a retaining wall, new fence, landscaping and gravel driveway.


The Nashua City Planning Board unanimously approved the site plan application from Public Service Company of New Hampshire. Last month, the zoning board granted a special exception to permit work within a wetland buffer on the site, enabling the project to move forward.


The site has been identified by city staff as having the potential for asbestos contamination, according to a memo by Matthew Taylor, deputy planning manager. Public Service Company of New Hampshire already has a contract with a firm that has experience in this area to oversee mitigation if asbestos is located, says the memo.


khoughton@newstote.com



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