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Somerset-Fall River Line Separation

D.P.U. 22-95: National Grid petitions to separate transmission lines in an approximate 1.85-mile portion of its existing right-of-way onto two separate structures in Fall River and Somerset, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Public Comment Hearing

The Department will conduct a remote public comment hearing regarding the Project using Zoom videoconferencing at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, 2023Attendees can join by clicking (or entering) the following link https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87453301170 from a computer, smartphone, or tablet.  For audio-only participation, attendees can dial in at (646) 558-8656 (not toll free) and then enter the Webinar ID: 874-5330-1170.

If you anticipate providing comments via Zoom during the public comment hearing, please send an email to geneen.bartley@mass.gov with your name, email address, and mailing address by Wednesday, March 29, 2023.  If you anticipate commenting by telephone, please leave a voicemail message at (617) 305-3529 with your name, telephone number, and mailing address by March 29, 2023.  Additional commenters may be allowed during the public comment hearing, at the discretion of the Hearing Officer.

A copy of the full notice in the languages below can be accessed at the following links: English | Portuguese

Recordings of Hearing

Recordings of the public comment hearing will be posted to the Department’s YouTube channel.  The transcripts of the public comment hearing will be posted to the DPU Fileroom.

Written Comments

The Department will accept written comments on the Project.  Written comments will be most useful to the Department if submitted by Tuesday, April 18, 2023.  Persons or groups who wish to be involved in the Department 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 Department in electronic format, by email or email attachment, to dpu.efiling@mass.gov and to joan.evans@mass.gov no later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.

Written comments on the Project, or a petition to intervene or participate as a limited participant in this proceeding, must be filed in two places:

First, the petition to intervene or participate, and comments, must be filed with the Department in electronic format, by email or email attachment to dpu.efiling@mass.gov; and to joan.evans@mass.gov 

no later than the close of business on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.  The text of the e-mail must specify: (1) the docket number of the proceeding (D.P.U. 22-95); (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 petition or comments must be sent electronically to counsel for the Company, 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 Department 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.  Intervention as a party allows the person or group to participate fully in the evidentiary phase of the proceeding, including the right to participate in evidentiary hearings and to appeal a final order.  A limited participant may receive the documents that will be submitted to the Department and may present written argument to the Department after evidentiary hearings conclude. A limited participant, however, may not participate in the evidentiary phase of the proceeding and has no right to appeal the final order.

Any person wishing to intervene as a party or to participate as a limited participant in this proceeding must file a written petition with the Hearing Officer (see Filing Instructions below).  A petition to intervene or be a limited participant must satisfy the timing and substantive requirements of 220 CMR 1.03, the Department’s procedural rules including the requirement that a petition to intervene must state the manner in which the petitioner is “substantially and specifically affected” by the Company’s proposed Project. The regulations pertaining to intervention and limited participation can be found on the Department’s website at: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/file-a-petition-to-intervene-in-an-efsb-or-dpu-siting-case.

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

Important Dates

August 5, 2022:  National Grid Files Petition with the Department

March 30, 2023:  Siting Board Holds Public Comment Hearing

April 18, 2023:  Deadline to Petition to be Intervenor or Limited Participant/Deadline for Written Comments

Project Information

Initial Petition and Application

The Company seeks a determination from the Department that the Project is necessary, serves the public convenience, and is consistent with the public interest under G.L. c. 164, § 72.  The Department will determine whether the Company’s Petition should be approved, and if so, what conditions are required. 

Description of Project

The Company maintains that the Project is needed to ensure the reliability of the electric transmission system in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Specifically, the Company states that separating the lines will reduce the chances of an outage affecting both existing lines, and provide more reliable and robust transmission system.

The Project will be located mostly within an existing electric transmission line ROW that extends from National Grid’s Pottersville Switching Station in Somerset, to Sykes Road Substation in Fall River.  This ROW is currently occupied by two 115 kV overhead transmission circuits called the N12 and the M13 Lines.  For approximately 1.85 miles, these lines are primarily supported on double circuit steel lattice towers (i.e., the two circuits, each consisting of three individual phase conductors, share the same series of towers within the ROW).  The Project involves the removal of the existing double circuit steel lattice towers and the construction of two sets of single circuit steel monopoles and conductors to carry the separated N12 and M13 Lines. The two existing 300-foot tall river crossing towers are to remain in place.  The wires will also be upgraded to support additional electric current. 

The lines currently cross the Taunton River.  The Project will require the installation of two 300-foot-tall river crossing structures, one on each side of the Taunton River.  The river crossing structure requires additional real estate easements on the Fall River side of the Taunton River to maintain a safe separation distance from an existing line.  The Company also secured necessary easements from the landowners around structures M13N-13 and N12-13, thereby resulting in the elimination of the need for those structures.  The Project also includes some modifications at the Sykes Road Substation within the fence line to interconnect the N12 and M13 Lines into the station.  These modifications include the replacement of line taps, installation of two line disconnect switches, and connections to the station bus. There will be no expansion of the footprint of the Sykes Road Substation.

The Project

Figure 1:  The Project

An interactive map of the project location is available at the following link:

https://www.southcoastreliabilityprojects.com/N12M13-Upgrade/index.html (under section “Project Location”).

Initial Filing

All documents related filed in relation to a proceeding are posted to the DPU Fileroom.  The Fileroom page for a proceeding represents the official record for that proceeding.  The public can access the Fileroom page for this proceeding at the following link:

Language Services/Accommodations

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.  Last minute requests will be accepted, but we may be unable to fulfill the request. Please send your requests to: Gabriella Knight, ADA and Diversity Manager at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs at gabriella.knight@mass.gov.

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 we need 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).


Any person desiring further information regarding this proceeding, including information regarding intervention or participation in the adjudicatory proceeding, may contact the Hearing Officer at the following telephone number or email address:

Joan Foster Evans, Hearing Officer
Department of Public Utilities

One South Station

Boston, MA 02110

(617) 305-3525

Useful Information

EFSB and DPU Siting Process

For more detailed information on the Siting process:  Energy Facilities Siting Board Handbook (updated 2019) | Guía para fijar la ubicación de instalaciones energéticas (2019)

Energy facility siting laws and regulations listing

Siting Related Links

Contact for Somerset-Fall River Line Separation


(617) 443-1116


Department of Public Utilities
1 South Station, 3rd floor, Boston, MA 02110

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