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Acushnet-to-Fall River Reliability Project

EFSB 21-04/D.P.U. 21-149: Petition of Eversource Energy and National Grid (“Companies”) pursuant to G.L. c. 164, §§ 69J, 72 for approval to construct an approximately 12.1-mile 115-kilovolt (“kV”) primarily overhead electric transmission line along existing rights-of-way and substation upgrades (“Project”) in the Towns of Acushnet, New Bedford, Dartmouth and Fall River, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Public Comment Hearing

The Siting Board conducted a remote public comment hearing regarding the Project using Zoom videoconferencing at 7:00 p.m., on Monday, April 25, 2022. 

Recordings of Hearings

Recordings of the public comment hearing will be posted to the Department’s YouTube channel after the public comment hearing.

English Recording 

The transcripts of the public comment hearing has been posted to the DPU Fileroom and below.

Transcript

Written Comments

The Siting Board will accept written comments on the Project.  Written comments will be most useful to the Siting Board if submitted by Monday, May 9, 2022

Written comments on the Companies’ Project must be filed in two places:

First, the comments, must be filed with the Siting Board in electronic format, by email or email attachment to dpu.efiling@mass.gov; and to andre.gibeau@mass.gov no later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Monday, May 9, 2022. The text of the e-mail must specify: (1) the docket number of the proceeding (EFSB 21-04/D.P.U. 21-149); (2) the name of the person or entity submitting the filing; and (3) a brief description of the document.  The electronic filing should also include the name, title, and telephone number of a person to contact in the event of questions about the filing.

Second, the comments must be sent electronically to counsel for the Companies, David S. Rosenzweig, Esq., Keegan Werlin LLP, 99 High Street, Suite 2900, Boston, MA 02110, drosen@keeganwerlin.com.

Participation in Proceedings

Persons or groups who wish to be involved in the Siting Board proceeding beyond providing comments at the public comment hearing or submitting written comments may seek either to intervene as a party or to participate as a limited participant.  A petition to intervene or participate must be filed with the Siting Board in electronic format, by email or email attachment, to dpu.efiling@mass.gov and to andre.gibeau@mass.gov no later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Monday, May 9, 2022.

For those individuals and groups that are “substantially and specifically” affected by energy proposals, and wish to participate actively in the proceeding, please visit the link below to learn more.

File a petition to intervene in an EFSB or DPU Siting case | Mass.gov

A copy of the full notice can be accessed at the following link: Notice. 

Project Information

Map image of project

Acushnet-Fall-River Project Map

Link to interactive map: https://www.southcoastreliabilityprojects.com/Acushnet-FallRiver/#map

NSTAR Electric Company d/b/a Eversource Energy (“Eversource”), located at 247 Station Drive, Westwood, Massachusetts 02090, and New England Power Company d/b/a National Grid (“National Grid”), located at 40 Sylvan Road, Waltham, Massachusetts, 02451 (together, the “Companies”), have filed two related petitions with the Energy Facilities Siting Board (“Siting Board”) and the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) in connection with the Companies’ proposal to construct, operate and maintain an approximately 12.1-mile 115-kilovolt (“kV”) primarily overhead electric transmission line along existing rights-of-way (“ROW”) between Eversource’s Industrial Park Tap in Acushnet, Massachusetts, and National Grid’s Bell Rock Substation in Fall River, Massachusetts (the “New Line”).  The New Line will traverse 7.9 miles in Acushnet, New Bedford and Dartmouth which will be owned and operated by Eversource, and 4.2 miles in Fall River which will be owned and operated by National Grid.  In conjunction with the New Line, National Grid will be installing additional equipment at the Bell Rock Substation in Fall River, and Eversource will be installing upgrades at its Tremont Substation in Wareham and its Acushnet Substation in Acushnet (the “Station Work”).  The New Line, together with the Station Work, is referred to as the Acushnet-to-Fall River Reliability Project, or the “Project.”

The Companies proposed Project consists of (1) a new electric transmission line built within an existing ROW that passes through the towns of Acushnet, New Bedford, Dartmouth and Fall River; and (2) upgrades to the Bell Rock, Tremont, and Acushnet substations which will allow for the termination for the New Line at the Bell Rock Substation and conduit expansion for the underground installation of the New Line at the Tremont and Acushnet substations. The purpose of the Project is to ensure reliability of the electric transmission system in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Project Filing with EFSB

The Companies filed two related petitions with the Siting Board and Department, which have been consolidated into one proceeding.  The petition to construct the Project includes the following information: (1) a description of the Project; (2) an analysis of the need for the Project; (3) a description of the alternatives to the Project; and (4) a description of the environmental impacts of the Project. 

Schedule

This section will be updated when the EFSB develops a procedural schedule for this proceeding.

Accommodation Requests

The EFSB has standardized procedures for requesting special accommodations in a proceeding.  Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request.  Include a complete description of the accommodation you will need and a way we can contact you if we need more information.  Please provide as much advance notice as possible.  Please allow at least two weeks (14 days) advance notice. Last minute requests will be accepted, but we may be unable to fulfill the request. Please send your requests to: Melixza G. Esenyie, ADA and Diversity Manager at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs at Melixza.Esenyie2@mass.gov or call 617-626-1282 no later than Monday, April 11, 2022.

Interpretation services for those with limited English language proficiency are available upon request.  Include in your request the language required, and a way to contact you if the Presiding Officer needs more information.  Please provide as much advance notice as possible.  Last minute requests may not be able to be accommodated.  Contact the Presiding Officer (contact information below).

Siting Board Statues and Regulations

The Companies two petitions have been consolidated for hearing before the Siting Board under docket number EFSB 21-04/D.P.U. 21-149.  Under G.L. c. 164, § 69J, the Siting Board will review the Companies’ filing to determine whether the Project would provide a reliable energy supply for the Commonwealth with a minimum impact on the environment at the lowest possible cost.  Under G.L. c. 164 § 72, the Siting Board will determine whether the proposed Project is necessary for the purposes stated, serves the public convenience, and is consistent with the public interest. 

Please visit the link below to learn more.

Energy facility siting laws and regulations | Mass.gov

Contact

Any person desiring information regarding this proceeding may contact Geneen Bartley, Administrative Assistant at geneen.bartley@mass.gov

Useful Information

Siting Related Links (including Glossary)

Contact

Phone

EFSB/DPU Siting Division (617) 305-3525
DPU Main (617) 305-3500

Fax

(617) 443-1116

Address

Department of Public Utilities
1 South Station, 5th floor
Boston, MA 02110

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