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  Friday, April 25, 2014
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xtra xtra!
NSTAR Transmission Line Nears Completion
By Rick Winterson

     South Boston Online has received some inquiries regarding the NSTAR transmission line that is now nearing completion.  We originally reported on this project in our April 14, 2005, issue (page three), shortly after NSTAR broke ground on the Holbrook/Walpole border. 

     At that time, the timetable for the entire project was estimated to be 18 months long – approximately 16 months for the laying, tie-in, and energizing of the transmission line, which will be at the end of July, 2006.  This was to be followed by two months of startup, adjustments, and repaving 18 miles of road from Holbrook to the substation at the end of K Street.  The project is still expected to be complete in 18 months, or by early October.

     Apparently, there is some misinformation out there.  Some people were told that the project would be completed this spring, even though the NSTAR website doesn’t claim that.  Our investigation indicates that the overall project, as inconvenient as it has been at times, is progressing right on schedule.

     In a telephone interview with us, Caroline Allen, an NSTAR spokesperson, confirmed that the project is on or perhaps slightly ahead of schedule.  Energizing the new transmission line is slated for the end of this month, as originally planned.  The line has presently reached Second Street, which is approximately two hundred yards from the substation.

     Allen also said that the repaving, which is very extensive, will be done by NSTAR itself.  As everyone knows, some utility excavations are left for the City to repave, using funds deposited by the contractor to the City’s account.  This causes delays in street repairs, which become nuisances to the neighborhoods.  Allen assured us that NSTAR’s repaving, from Holbrook to the K Street substation, will be done by NSTAR and completed by no later than this coming October.

     For those of you unfamiliar with the project, it will provide and additional 1,800 megawatts of power to Boston.  It is a cooled, high pressure, fluid filled system (HPPF).  It is also the single largest high-voltage underground project ever installed in the U.S.  Demand for electricity has grown by 20% in the City of Boston.  The project will provide sufficient power to serve nearly 2 million homes.

     You may check on the project status at anytime yourself by logging onto www.transmissionproject.net.  South Boston Online will follow up with a final article when the transmission line has been completed.



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Steel plates over NSTAR excavations on Third Street.

The home stretch - final transmission line laying at K and Second.  The NSTAR substation is visible in the distance, beyond First Street.

Underground NSTAR cooling unit installation on I Street near Seventh.