Legislators Contact Eversource with Transmission Line Impacts

After walking the electrical power utility right-of-way in Londonderry where Eversource’s proposed transmission line is to be constructed, State Rep. Doug Thomas, R-Londonderry is reaching out to abutters who will be impacted by tree clearing for the project.

Thomas said he met with Eversource representatives on June 5 to see firsthand how proposed tree clearing for the transmission line would impact local homeowners, particularly in the area of Severance Drive, coming down from the west soccer fields to the Hudson town line.

Visiting access points to the right-of-way and cul-de-sacs with homes abutting proposed clearing, Thomas observed several homes that will be significantly impacted by the project.

“About half a dozen homeowners will be greatly affected,” he said. “In one area, one home’s driveway happens to be halfway in the right-of-way and there are some trees on their driveway that will be cleared, and remain a cleared zone. And there are at least two or three homes where a good portion of the woods, if not all, will be cleared, and where they had a forested area, they will now have a clear view of the power lines.”

Thomas spoke with abutters to the Merrimack Valley Reliability Project who expressed concern with such impacts at Eversource’s open house and informational session last month.

“It’s not that they’re doing anything they shouldn’t be, it’s just that that’s the only area they can put the new transmission line in because that portion of right-of-way is shared between Eversource and National Grid, and National Grid has the poles to the middle and right, and Eversource has the poles to the extreme left side. The only way they have to go is where those trees are,” he said.

The purpose of the proposed transmission line is to address a growing demand for electricity in the region, preventing potential overloads on existing transmission lines.

The new, 24 mile, overhead transmission line will run from the Scobie Pond Substation in Londonderry to Tewksbury, Mass., also passing through Hudson, Windham and Pelham. A total of 18.1 miles of the transmission line will run through New Hampshire, with 8.1 miles in Londonderry.

Work in Londonderry is expected to include the construction of about 75 new structures, with the average height anticipated to be 88 feet above ground. The three tallest poles built in Londonderry are proposed to be 106 feet.

All work is to be completed in the existing utility right-of-way, and no additional land or easements will be required.

Eversource has been in direct communication with the most affected homeowners, and every abutter was notified to attend the open house, according to Thomas, who said the property owners who will be most impacted by the project are in talks with Eversource about mitigating impacts from the tree clearing.

In cases where the project will significantly impact abutters, the company will work closely with them to mitigate those impacts, according to Michelle Gallicchio, manager of transmission line outreach.

Before work starts on a section where abutters will be affected, Eversource will speak with residents one-on-one in person and address their concerns, she said.

Eversource does, in some cases, subsidize the cost to individual property owners to install buffers.

“I feel, as a legislator, if there’s anything I can do to facilitate the communications, or talk to the project manager about general things they could come up with to help mitigate the circumstances, I’m ready to offer my services,” said Thomas, who plans to send a letter to each of the most affected homeowners to inform them of his visit to the right-of-way and tell them he is in communication with Eversource. “If any resident has an issue, I doubt it will happen, but I can go through my contacts to make sure their questions get answered, and I will help in any way I can. Sen. Sharon Carson is also following this project and is also available to talk to people.”

Residents may contact Eversource with questions and concerns related to the project by phone at (844) 646-8427 or by email at info@MA-NHSolutions.org. For more information, visit the project’s website online at  HYPERLINK “http://www.MA-NHSolution.com” www.MA-NHSolution.com.

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