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New England East-West Solution (NEEWS)
Project Description
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Project logoNew England East-West Solution (NEEWS)

New England East-West Solution
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New England East-West Solution (NEEWS) is a group of related transmission projects developed by system planners from ISO-New England, Northeast Utilities (CL&P/WMECo) and National Grid (the utility serving eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island).

The Projects are in different stages of development.

Major construction on the Greater Springfield Reliability Project is now complete and the Project is fully in-service. For more information, go to the Greater Springfield Reliability Project.

In January 2013, the Connecticut Siting Council (CSC) issued its Decision and Order approving the Connecticut portion of the Interstate Reliability Project. Later in 2013, the CSC approved CL&P's construction plans, called the Development & Management (D&M) Plans, for the Connecticut portion of the Project. For more information, go to the Interstate Reliability Project.

In 2013, the long-term reliability of the bulk power system in the Greater Hartford and Central Connecticut area was studied by ISO-New England. This study, called the Greater Hartford / Central Connecticut Study (GHCC), included 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.

National Gridís Rhode Island Reliability Project is under construction.

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 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.

As they reach completion, these Projects will provide stronger interconnections across Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and allow more power to move across the region. 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.

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