HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Northeast Utilities executive said Thursday that the warm weather has helped it advance a transmission project in western Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Leon Olivier, executive vice president and chief operating officer, told investor analysts on a conference call that the work is nearly two-thirds complete.
The $718 million project, intended to improve reliability during peak use and keep pace with rising electricity demand, is expected to be completed by late next year.
Olivier said Northeast Utilities, parent company of Public Service Co. of New Hampshire, Western Massachusetts Electric Co. and Connecticut Light & Power, can secure rights of way in the Northern Pass power project in New Hampshire without using eminent domain.
New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signed legislation in March prohibiting the use of eminent domain for projects not directly related to his state's power needs, such as Northern Pass. He said the use of eminent domain should be limited to projects intended to benefit the public.
Northern Pass, a 180-mile transmission project to bring Canadian hydropower to southern New England, is debated in northern New Hampshire, where residents say they worry that it would use eminent domain to carve out the 40 miles it needs in the area.
Olivier said 140 miles of the project is to be built along existing rights of way and the remaining 40 miles will require new rights of way. NU is making "good progress" obtaining rights of way and plans to present a new route to federal regulators in the third quarter of this year, he said.
Construction would begin in 2014 and finish by the end of 2016, Olivier said.
NU spent $137 million in this year's first quarter for transmission and expects capital spending of about $675 million this year for transmission, including Northern Pass, he said.
"This line remains the most innovative proposal now before regulators to appreciably lower both the cost of electricity and the amount of carbon emissions in New England," Olivier said.
It also would provide Hydro-Quebec with a new route to move power into New England from generation now under construction in central and northern Quebec, he said.
Northeast Utilities bought Boston-based NStar last month, creating one of the biggest utilities in the United States. When the deal was announced in October 2010, it was touted as a way to help NU pay for large transmission projects intended to bring low-carbon power from Northern New England and Canada to higher population areas in southern New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Lawmakers in Connecticut and New York are calling on the Federal Railroad Administration to take immediate action to try and prevent another deadly train crash like the one that happened last weekend in New York City.
Members of the Machinists union who work at jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney have approved a new three-year contract.
Manchester police are investigating what lead one man to allegedly kill three women and then take his own life.
The University of Connecticut has awarded the first two scholarships under a program launched to help those affected by last year's massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
A student accused of setting off a lockdown and massive police response at Central Connecticut State University by wearing a ninja-like costume on campus is set to face a judge for the first time.
Newtown police officers rescued two people from a house fire, early Sunday.
Enfield resident Harold Slater was just 20-years-old the day he witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Two men were arrested after breaking into a home then driving at officers during a pursuit in Waterbury on Saturday night.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's governor is calling for houses of worship to mark the first anniversary of the Newtown school shooting by ringing their bells 26 times — once for each of the victims killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary …
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The two youngest members of the U.S. Senate are co-sponsoring a bill aimed at lowering college costs that includes withholding federal funds from schools that don't meet affordability and quality standards.