Connecticut Utility Files System Resiliency Plan With Regulators

Renew Grid, Wednesday July 11, 2012 - 13:56:32

Electrical circuits with a history of poor performance would be targeted for upgrades according to Connecticut Light & Power's (CL&P) proposed system resiliency plan. The five-year, $300 million infrastructure hardening plan was filed Tuesday with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). CL&P, a Northeast Utilities subsidiary, committed to file the plan with regulators as part of the recent merger with NSTAR.

"We are confident that this investment will benefit our customers by improving the day-to-day reliability of our system and making it less vulnerable to outages due to extreme weather," says Bill Quinlan, senior vice president of emergency preparedness for CL&P.

In 2011, the northeastern U.S. suffered major disruptions to electrical service due to a rare October snowstorm that dumped up to two feet of heavy, wet snow in the region. The resulting damage and power outages were largely caused by trees falling on transmission lines, according to a joint staff report issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and North American Electric Reliability Corp.

CL&P's proposal consists of three parts: tree trimming, electrical hardening (making the wires less vulnerable to interruption) and structural hardening (strengthening of poles, crossarms and related equipment).

Earlier this year, CL&P announced a significant enhancement to its tree-trimming program, with the company spending $53.5 million this year, approximately doubling its 2011 expenditures.

PURA's decision on the resiliency plan is expected later this year.

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