The Connecticut Light and Power Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
(860) 947-2000


News Release

Contacts: Frank Poirot Deborah Beauchamp
Office: (860) 665-3409 (860) 665-5423
After Hours Phone: (800) 286-2000 (800) 286-2000

New Transmission Projects to Benefit 4.6 Million Customers Unveiled at NU's Annual Meeting


BERLIN, Connecticut, June 28, 2001 – Northeast Utilities (NYSE:NU) Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael G. Morris today highlighted NU’s impressive financial and operational improvements, announcing a dividend increase and three strategic transmission projects to meet Connecticut and the region’s fast-growing electric energy needs and strengthen New England’s electric transmission grid.


NU’s Board of Trustees today declared a quarterly dividend of $0.125 per share, an increase of 25%, payable September 28, 2001 to shareholders of record as of September 1, 2001.

“This dividend increase underscores the tremendous financial improvement we have experienced at Northeast Utilities since the dividend was restored in 1999. We view this increase as significant and we look forward to additional, perhaps more modest increases in the years to come,” Morris said. “The increase announced today also maintains our payout ratio at a conservative level, thereby helping to maintain our much improved financial flexibility and to fund growth initiatives.”

In addition to the dividend increase, Morris announced the most dramatic improvements in New England’s electric transmission system in 20 years.

“Our promise to deliver shareholder and customer value and dramatically increase NU’s presence as New England’s largest electric utility system is today a reality,” said Morris. “It’s the right time to invest in electric energy transmission to connect our customers, neighbors and businesses and to support tremendous growth in Connecticut and throughout the Northeast.

“These projects will provide increased transmission capability, access to competitively priced power and improved power supply reliability for the 4.6 million customers in the region.”

The three projects dramatically increase inter-regional electric transmission, improve power system reliability and meet the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s goal of using transmission grids to foster competitive energy markets.

The projects involve:


“By combining the strengths of the Long Island and Connecticut grids, we connect the economic corridors on both shores and deliver enhanced reliability and access to a larger, more diverse generation supply. Providing consumers with opportunities for new sources of power to flow to both regions fosters the competition necessary to ensure competitively priced power,” added Morris.

In sum, the projects will deliver major benefits for consumers in the Northeast, including: system reliability improvements, which come at a lower environmental cost than building new power plants; improved infrastructure for economic development; and enhanced diversity of power generation technologies.

NU anticipates that the various state, local and federal regulatory agencies that need to review and approve the work will take until spring 2002. Installation of the cables beneath Long Island Sound is expected to begin in November 2002, be completed in April and be partially operational by mid 2003 and fully operational by mid 2004. The 20-mile 345kV line between Bethel and Norwalk is expected to be operational in December 2003. The considerably longer 65-mile 345 kV line between Middletown and Norwalk is expected to take several years to build.

“We are excited about the opportunities for growth and economic development these projects will bring,” said Morris. “A more reliable electricity delivery system will allow the Connecticut, Long Island and New England economies to continue to expand, and the new DC line under the Sound will provide generators of electricity a new way to get power to these fast growing areas, promoting competition of supply that will move along NU’s transmission lines – a success path for all customers.”

A complete online version of the press kit for the transmission project news conference is available at ttp://www.nu.com/media/presskits.asp.

Northeast Utilities operates New England’s largest energy delivery system, serving more than 1.7 million electric power customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and 187,000 natural gas customers in Connecticut. NU is one of the largest competitive energy suppliers in New England and is a major energy trader in the Northeast. NU is a community and economic development partner, committed to environmental leadership and stewardship. For more information on the Northeast Utilities system, please see our Web site at www.nu.com.



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