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Eversource marks completion of $129m transmission line

By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader

December 06. 2017 4:49PM

Eversource's Bill Quinlan speaks at a reception to mark the completion of Eversource's Merrimack Valley Reliability Project at Elwood Orchards in Londonderry on Wednesday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

LONDONDERRY — A $129 million high-voltage transmission line will bring lower energy costs and better reliability of keeping the lights on, according to Eversource's New Hampshire president.

"When we have big storms and we have interruptions across our system, if we have a flexible system, if we have transmission capacity, it allows us to move power around to restore customers," Bill Quinlan told local officials and project workers Wednesday. "It also allows us to lower energy costs by getting power from the low-cost generation to our customers."

Quinlan delivered the remarks in an enclosed farm stand at Elwood Orchards in the shadow of the transmission line that joined other lines in an existing right of way next door. The 24.5-mile line, which is scheduled to go into service around Dec. 20, runs from Londonderry to Tewksbury, Mass., and is a partnership between Eversource and National Grid, which estimated the project cost lower, at $123 million.

Electric customers from all six states will pay for the reliability project, which was approved by the manager of the regional power grid, ISO New England. New Hampshire uses about 10 percent of New England's overall electricity usage, so Granite Staters will pay that percentage of the project pricetag.

The project will deliver around $1.5 million in new property taxes yearly.

This map shows the route of the project. (Source: www.ma-nhsolution.com)

Hudson and Londonderry, the two towns where Eversource's portion of the line will run through, will reap more than $500,000 combined annually, Quinlan said.

National Grid said the line in its territory will furnish $140,000 more a year to Hudson, $571,700 additional to Pelham and $235,000 more to Windham.

Quinlan said the line was more than a decade in the making.

Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith said energy is a top concern of business owners. "The amazing amount of commercial and industrial growth we've seen in Londonderry in particular would not be possible without the reliability and capacity of energy that Eversource provides, and we have a lot of industry here in Londonderry," Smith said. "Having reliability and capacity for energy in the future is a huge concern of all of these businesses."

Quinlan said Eversource at any one time had 250 or more construction workers on the project, including many Granite Staters.

National Grid's portion of the line runs through Pelham, Windham and a section of Hudson. "This project was specifically designed to use existing transmission corridors to minimize impacts on the host communities and project neighbors and to be cost-effective while enhancing long-term grid reliability," said National Grid spokesman Jackie Barry. 

Matthew Kakley with ISO New England said it doesn't comment on specific projects. "However, from 2002 through October, 746 transmission projects to address reliability needs were put into service in the six New England states," he said.

The New Hampshire side cost $72 million, including $37 million by Eversource, said Eversource spokesman Kaitlyn Woods.


Energy Hudson Londonderry Pelham Windham