The Hampden County Reliability Project has received approval from the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board to build a new substation in Hampden, upgrade transmission lines in the Massachusetts towns of Palmer, Monson and Hampden and upgrade the substation in Palmer. This Project is one of many Western Massachusetts transmission projects designed to increase reliability flows between eastern and western Massachusetts and upgrade poles and wires that were built in the 1940's.
National Grid plans to start preconstruction activities for the new substation in the fall of 2012, following approvals from the Hampden Conservation Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The substation will be located on a 90-acre site on Allen Street in Hampden. This new substation will enable a tie-in to Northeast Utilities' 115 kilovolt (kV) system, further enhancing backup and supply options for towns in the region.
Following completion of the substation, which is slated for late 2014, ten miles of an existing 69 kV transmission line in a National Grid right-of-way (ROW) will be replaced with a 115 kV transmission line. Taller steel poles (75-85 feet) will replace existing 45-55 foot wood poles so that the new higher voltage line is farther from trees and vegetation. The Palmer substation will also be upgraded to accommodate the higher voltage of the new line. The transmission and substation upgrades are scheduled for completion during the summer of 2015.
National Grid's right-of-way will be cleared as necessary for construction and maintenance and to meet clearances from vegetation required by the electric code. To meet clearance standards, our Real Estate Department will be contacting property owners adjacent to the right-of-way to discuss possible additional easement rights for removal of trees and vegetation that could endanger the lines or interfere with maintenance of the lines.