Published in the October 16, 2015 edition.
WAKEFIELD — The public is invited to check out the plan and visit the site of a proposed electricity transmission line that will run from the edge of Horn Pond in Woburn to the New England Power Company substation off Montrose Avenue.
The presentation, hosted by the state Department of Environmental Protection, is planned for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at the Four Points Sheraton Colonial Hotel on Audubon Road.
NSTAR wants to build a new 8.53-mile underground 345 kV transmission line from the Eversource substation off Cove Street in Woburn to the New England Power Company substation off Montrose Avenue in Wakefield. The project also includes improvements to the substations.
The purpose of the project is to maintain the integrity of the bulk power system and to ensure that adequate transmission services are available to meet current and future load demand. The transmission line will follow existing roadway and railroad rights-of-way (ROW). It will include crossings of Horn Pond Brook, the Aberjona River, Sweetwater Brook and Mill River. The transmission line will be constructed using primarily open-cut techniques in the public way.
NSTAR (now Eversource) needs to submit two geographically-divergent alternatives for the transmission line route, according the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department General Manager Peter Dion. The preferred route has the line coming into town from Stoneham, going down Broadway to Main Street and utilitizing the old rail line to New Salem Street, where the line would head down the street across the Mill River watershed area to Salem Street. The line would be underneath Salem Street to Montrose Avenue.
The second option takes the line closer to the Greenwood section of town.
Dion said nothing has been finalized and no shovels would go into the ground until the end of 2017 at the earliest. Most of next year will be the project permitting phase.
The project requires the filing of an Environmental Notification Form pursuant to 301 CMR 11.03(7)(b)(4) because it involves the construction of electric transmission lines with a capacity of 69 or more kV, provided the transmission lines are one or more miles in length along new, unused, or abandoned ROW. The project requires a Chapter 91 authorization and potentially a Utility Related Abatement Measure notification from MassDEP; an Approval to Construct under MGL c. 164 s. 72 and zoning exemptions under MGL c. 40A s. 3 from the DPU; approval under MGL c. 164 s. 69J from the EFSB; Highway Access Permit and Rail Crossing Permit from MassDOT; a section 8(m) permit from the MWRA; and a determination from the Mass. Historical Commission.
If you plan to attend the presentation you are asked to consult the signs in the hotel lobby for the location of the conference room. Following the meeting there will be a tour of portions of the proposed transmission line ROW.
Comments from the MEPA are due or before Oct. 27.
The certificate is due Nov. 6.