New Nstar Transmission Line Approved By State Siting Board
Critical Resource To Bolster Boston-area Electricity Infrastructure
The new transmission line will address specific weaknesses in the Boston-area electrical transmission system consistent with the recommendations of Governor Romney's Task Force on Electric Reliability and Outage Preparedness, which was convened following the blackout of August 14, 2003.
Department of Telecommunications & Energy ("DTE") Chairman Paul G. Afonso, who also chairs the Energy Facilities Siting Board, applauded the decision. "Today, we acted unanimously in approving a reliable energy resource that will bring much-needed power into the Boston area and reduce our reliance on older, less efficient power plants," said Chairman Afonso.
Beth Lindstrom, Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, said the siting board's decision is an important step in maintaining an affordable and first-class energy supply for the Boston-area and the regional power grid. "This project is in keeping with the integrated energy policy that Governor Romney wants fostered. It embraces three major goals: assuring adequate and reliable energy supplies, at reasonable energy prices with environmentally friendly use," said Director Lindstrom.
NSTAR filed its application to construct the new transmission line on January 16, 2004. The Energy Facilities Siting Board held three public comment hearings in March and April at venues in Dorchester, Canton and Roxbury. Evidentiary hearings were then held in July, August and September. On December 23, 2004, the Siting Board staff issued a Tentative Decision, acknowledging the need for the project and recommending that the full Siting Board approve the transmission line.
The NSTAR transmission line will originate from a new switching station to be constructed at the intersection of Route 138 and York Street in Stoughton, adjacent to NSTAR's existing 345kV transmission line running from Walpole to Holbrook. From there, it will run underground along Route 138 through the towns of Stoughton, Canton and Milton into Boston along Cummins Highway to American Legion Highway. At that point, the transmission line will split, with one branch traveling along American Legion Highway to the Hyde Park Substation and another branch traveling approximately 6 miles under Boston streets to the K Street Substation.
NSTAR anticipates equipping the Hyde Park and K Street substations for the new transmission line during the summer of 2006, with full implementation at the K Street substation by the summer of 2008. Today's Siting Board decision imposes conditions designed to minimize traffic disruptions, noise and heavy equipment concerns during construction at switching stations and substations in Stoughton and Boston.