New England East-West Solutions (NEEWS)

New England East-West Solutions (NEEWS)

Location: Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut

Client: Northeast Utilities Service Co.

Completion Date: 2016

Northeast Utilities, National Grid and ISO New England (ISO-NE) identified weak transmission corridors to their regional grid. An analysis of the high-voltage transmission network in southern New England, conducted by ISO-NE, showed that the system needs to be upgraded to improve reliability and performance.

Problems identified in the system include:

  • Limitations to east-west movement of electricity on the New England power grid
  • Weaknesses in transmission around Springfield, Mass., a major interstate transmission hub
  • Limitations to moving electricity across Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island’s dependence on single transmission lines or autotransformers for reliability
  • Limitations to the power that can flow from east to west within Connecticut

After technical evaluations, three related transmission projects have been identified to complete this task, which will provide a stronger interconnection throughout the region in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. The three projects address the fundamental 345-kV system reliability needs and are collectively named the New England East-West Solution (NEEWS).

The three projects planned:

  • The Greater Springfield Reliability Project
  • The Interstate Reliability Project
  • The Central Connecticut Reliability Project

A staff of approximately 110 people from Burns & McDonnell's Wallingford, Conn., and Kansas City, Mo., offices are assigned to the NEEWS projects. Construction is planned to begin in 2010 and will last through 2016.

  • Program management
  • Community relations
  • Siting
  • Permitting
  • Safety
  • Detailed engineering
  • Land acquisition
  • Cost controls
  • Document controls
  • Environmental studies
  • Surveying
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Scheduling
  • Procurement
  • Construction management

Burns & McDonnell was selected by Northeast Utilities Service Co. as program manager for the NEEWS projects. Program management provides for all the owner’s project delivery needs as they relate to a large and complex effort involving the construction of multiple facilities over several years. The program manager is an agent of the owner and serves as a single point of management throughout the lifespan of a project. A program manager provides detailed managerial support with added technical value to the owner and is normally involved from the earliest stages. In addition to program management, Burns & McDonnell is responsible for detailed design including Northeast Utilities’ new Next Generation Substation Protection & Controls. The new P&C system integrates relays, SCADA equipment and yard equipment using IEC 61850 protocol, significantly reducing costly wiring.

The Greater Springfield Reliability Project
The Greater Springfield Reliability project (GSRP) consists of 35 miles of 345-KV and 59 miles of 115-kV overhead transmission line running north from Bloomfield, Conn., to Ludlow, Mass. The project also includes a major substation upgrade in Connecticut and 12 upgrades in Massachusetts. In 2010, the GSRP was in the siting process and land acquisition phase, with construction expected to begin in the fourth quarter.

The Interstate Reliability Project
The Interstate Reliability Project (IRP) consists of 38 miles of 345-kV overhead transmission line and three substation upgrades. The project runs from the Card Street Substation near Wilimantic, Conn., northeast toward the Rhode Island border. In late 2010, the IRP was in the preliminary siting phase, with construction expected to begin in 2013.

Central Connecticut Reliability Project
The Central Connecticut Reliability Project (CCRP) consists of 35 miles of 345-kV overhead transmission lines. It also includes two major substation upgrades.

Greater Springfield Reliability Project

  • 35 miles of 345-kV overhead transmission
  • 59 miles of 115-kV overhead transmission
  • 13 substation upgrades

Interstate Reliability Project

  • 38 miles of 345-kV overhead transmission
  • Three substation upgrades

Central Connecticut Reliability Project

  • 35 miles of 345-kV overhead transmission
  • Three substation upgrades