Northeast Utilities
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
(800) 286-5000

News Release

Contacts: Frank J. Poirot
Office: 860-665-3409

Northeast Utilities Unveils Detailed Plans to Strengthen the Region's Electric Transmission Grid

BERLIN, Connecticut, June 23, 2008 – To improve electric reliability and strengthen the interstate transfer of electricity, Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECO) – companies of the Northeast Utilities System – presented a plan to local officials to upgrade transmission capabilities in western Massachusetts and north central Connecticut areas. The new project will also provide enhanced access to cleaner, competitively priced energy sources.

As part of a group of transmission projects called New England East-West Solution (NEEWS), the Greater Springfield Reliability Project is designed to strengthen the region’s power grid by creating a “beltway” for electricity to move more reliably around the Springfield area. In addition, it provides a higher-capacity transfer of power between Connecticut and Massachusetts, and ensures the reliable flow of power from east to west. Finally, together with the other NEEWS projects, it will address reliability needs in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

“We are working to modernize our infrastructure to help secure the energy future of the region for years to come,” said David H. Boguslawski, Northeast Utilities vice president of Transmission Strategy & Operations. “A stronger, more reliable electric grid will provide greater access to new power sources and provide New England with the infrastructure that is critical to the region’s economic health.”

The primary route under consideration would be located on existing rights-of-way between substations in Ludlow, MA, and Bloomfield, CT. With an estimated cost of $714 million, the Greater Springfield Reliability project calls for new 345-kilovolt (kV) lines, reconstruction of significant portions of the existing 115-kV transmission lines in the area, construction of a new switching station and substantial expansion of substations along the route.

Local review of the proposal is the first step in the review process for the transmission upgrade project. The companies will obtain the local feedback and file formal project applications with the Connecticut Siting Council in Connecticut and the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, in the fall of 2008.

To facilitate resident participation in this review process, the companies are conducting a series of open house meetings to provide information and receive meaningful feedback from municipal officials, residents and businesses. The meetings will be held in June, July and August. (Please see the schedule below for the specific time, date and location of the open houses currently scheduled in the project towns.)

The companies will continue to gather input from local leaders and citizens as they begin the state review and approval process. Construction for the project is scheduled to begin in 2010.

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Current Connecticut Open House Schedule:

Tuesday, June 24, 6 - 8 p.m.
Suffield High School
1060 Sheldon Street
Suffield, CT

Wednesday, June 25, 6 - 8 p.m.
East Granby High School
95 South Main Street
East Granby, CT

Thursday, June 26, 7 - 9 p.m.
The Enfield Street School
1318 Enfield Street
Enfield, CT

Current Massachusetts Open House Schedule:

Monday, July 21, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Agawam High School
760 Cooper Street
Agawam, MA

Thursday, July 24, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Chicopee High School
820 Front Street
Chicopee, MA


Thursday, August 21, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Ludlow High School
500 Chapin Street
Ludlow, MA

For additional information on the NEEWS group of transmission upgrades, please visit the project Web site at

The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) has been part of everyday life in Connecticut for more than 100 years, providing safe and reliable electric service to homes, neighborhoods and businesses. With 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns, CL&P is an active member in the communities it serves, offering programs in energy conservation, economic development and environmental education. CL&P is part of the Northeast Utilities System (NYSE: NU).

Western Massachusetts Electric Company, part of the Northeast Utilities System (NYSE: NU), serves approximately 217,000 customers in 59 communities throughout western Massachusetts and is committed to the environment, economic development and the health of the communities it serves.

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