Western Massachusetts Electric Company
P.O. Box 2010
West Springfield, MA 01090-2010
(800) 286-5000 (Media Inquiries)


News Release

Contacts: Frank Poirot
Office: (860) 665-3409
After Hours Phone: (800) 789-2290

Helicopter Used to Upgrade WMECo Lines
Greater Springfield Reliability Project team cites environmental and efficiency benefits

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., September 12, 2011 – Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo) will use a helicopter to assist with the installation of new transmission lines for the Greater Springfield Reliability Project (GSRP).

Use of the helicopter will minimize impacts to the environment and significantly reduce the amount of time needed to complete the wire-stringing step of line construction from the ground. In addition to pulling in a guide rope to each of the structures, the helicopter will transport workers and their tools during the pulling process.

The helicopter crew is scheduled to begin work the week of September 12, 2011, and continue with intermittent flights through late 2013. While the typical flight will last just a few hours, helicopter activity will occur between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in residential areas and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday in certain non-residential areas.

The GSRP includes work along 39 miles of an existing transmission right-of-way between Ludlow, Mass., and Bloomfield, Conn. The 27-mile portion in Massachusetts includes new 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission lines, new and reconstructed 115-kV lines, two new switching stations and several substation upgrades.

For additional information on the Greater Springfield Reliability Project, please visit www.NEEWSprojects.com, or call 1-866-99NEEWS (1-866-996-3397).

Western Massachusetts Electric Company, a Northeast Utilities company (NYSE: NU), serves approximately 210,000 customers in 59 communities throughout western Massachusetts and is committed to the environment, economic development and the health of the communities it serves. For more information, please visit www.wmeco.com. Follow WMECo on Facebook and Twitter.

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