Eversource representatives say the planned expansion of the Scobie Pond substation as part of the company’s Northern Pass project should have no affect on neighbors.
Project Manager Brian Bosse said the upgrade will have the same look and feel of the existing equipment at the substation.
“We have done background sound surveys for the area, north of the expansion and at the entryway to the existing substation, in summer and winter conditions,” he said, noting the studies were conducted around the clock. “We have designed the equipment so that there will be no sound issues associated with the substation.”
ISO New England has required the upgrade for the Northern Pass project, having identified a need for a capacitor bank at the Scobie Pond substation, according to Bosse.
“This expansion supports the voltage on the system. In events anywhere in New England near the Scobie Pond substation, the capacitor bank would be used to support the system shortage,” he said.
Eversource will be working through the permitting process in 2016, and plans to submit their application to the Site Evaluation Commission sometime in October, according to Bosse.
Councilor John Farrell asked how the project would benefit the residents of Londonderry, specifically.
“Here in Londonderry, we’re experiencing a number of things happening—the gas pipeline, construction of a number of towers in existing right-of-way. We have a lot of activity going on between utilities, and a lot of things happening on Eversource land,” he said. “These are major projects you guys are doing, but I have yet to hear a benefit for the town of Londonderry.”
Eversource Community Relations Specialist Liz LaRocca, who lives in Londonderry, noted the Scobie Pond substation has existed in the Town for 50 years, and that Eversource is the second largest taxpayer in Londonderry.
“This project would increase the tax base by $11.8 million,” she said. “We’re hoping we come in and do our work; but minimize impacts to the Town of Londonderry, so the Town can enjoy the projected tax revenue from these projects.”
La Rocca added it’s important for the entire region to “beef up the transmission system.”
“This project will provide reliability and allow us to have more generation on the system,” she said.
Bosse noted the Northern Pass project is expected to bring a number of benefits to the region, including greater fuel diversity and lower rates across the State.
With Northern Pass anticipated to be in service by late spring 2019, Bosse said if the permitting process goes according to plan, construction could begin at Scobie Pond in 2017, with the upgraded facility to come into service in late 2018.