New England East-West Solution (NEEWS)
|Click Map to Enlarge
New England East-West Solution (NEEWS) is four related transmission projects developed by a working group of system planners from ISO-New England, Northeast Utilities (CL&P/WMECo) and National Grid (the utility serving eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island).
The four Projects are in different stages of development. Two of the NEEWS Projects, the Greater Springfield Reliability Project and the Rhode Island Reliability Project are under construction. Construction updates are posted on the respective Project websites.
On January 2, 2013, the Connecticut Siting Council (CSC) issued its Decision and Order approving CL&P's application for the Connecticut portion of the Interstate Reliability Project. For more information, go to the Interstate Reliability Project.
The long-term reliability of the bulk power system in the Greater Hartford and Central Connecticut area is being studied by ISO-New England. This study, called the Greater Hartford / Central Connecticut Study (GHCC), includes a more comprehensive geographic area than the original scope of the proposed Central Connecticut Reliability Project. For more information, go to the Central Connecticut Reliability Project.
Together, these Projects are designed to solve existing reliability problems with the transmission system. These problems threaten the transmission systemís ability to meet national and regional reliability standards and to assure the adequacy and availability of electric power.
The problems were identified by ISO-New England in its regional planning process. They are:
- Limitations to east-west/west-east movement of electricity on the New England power grid
- Limitations to the flow of power within Connecticut
- Weaknesses in the transmission system in and around Springfield, MA, a major interstate transmission hub
- Limitations to moving electricity across Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts
- Rhode Islandís dependence on single transmission lines or autotransformers for reliability
Each of these problems poses a threat to the reliability of electric power in southern New England and the region overall. These problems also negatively affect our customers' ability to benefit from readily-accessible, cleaner, competitively priced electric power.
ISO-New England determined that ongoing energy conservation efforts, new power plants and new transmission are all needed to meet the regionís electricity demand. Specifically, the planning process concluded that additional transmission lines were needed to solve the five problems outlined above.
HOW THE PROJECTS WERE SELECTED
ISO-New England, Northeast Utilities and National Grid conducted technical evaluations to determine how thousands of possible solution combinations would perform during normal, peak and possible outage scenarios and how flexible those options would be to support electricity demand. The evaluations identified the four NEEWS transmission projects as the best-performing, least-cost, practical solutions.
ISO-New Englandís planning process considered these factors:
- Load growth
- Load reduction through energy conservation
- Planned and operating power plants
- Environmental impacts including air quality
- Regional benefit at the lowest possible cost
- Support for a competitive market for electricity
The main components of the NEEWS Projects are 345-kilovolt (kV) high-voltage lines. The Projects also include upgrades to substations and improvements to the region's 115-kV electric system.
When complete, these Projects will provide stronger interconnections across Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and allow more power to move across New England. This will provide Northeast Utilities customers with more dependable power and pave the way for the growing use of cleaner, cheaper power and renewable energy resources.