BY HEATHER LAKE
MANSFIELD — Connecticut Light & Power’s proposed $251 million transmission system upgrade will be presented at a special meeting of the Mansfield Town Council tonight. Residents of Mansfield looking for more informa¬tion or wishing to comment on the proposed CL&P Interstate Reliability Project will have the opportu¬nity for both at tonight’s meeting. The council is holding the special meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Audrey P. Beck Municipal Building, prior to its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. CL&P is scheduled to present the plan, which is designed to improve the flow of electricity through¬out the Southern New England area to meet customer demand through 2050. This would be the first upgrade in decades and the proposal is an extension of a plan presented in 2008 reflecting changes in demand since that plan was completed. In addition, the project would bring CL&P into compliance with the requirements of the state’s regulating agencies, which have increased since the blackout in 2003.
The National American Electric Reliability Corporation and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission set the standards and it can levy fines up to $ 1 million a day on Cl& P if their expecta¬tions are not met, according to Frank Poirot, CL&P spokesperson for the project. The proposed project is part of the New England East-West Solution — a group of projects designed to meet growing demand in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. A project is already under¬way in Springfield, Mass. In Connecticut, it would amount to 37 miles of 345 kilovolt transmission lines, extending from an exist¬ing substation in Lebanon to a substation in Killingly and on to the Rhode Island border. Lebanon, Columbia, Willimantic, Coventry, Mans¬field, Chaplin and Hampton are all situated along the proposed route, which would be outfitted with an additional circuit of under and above ground transmission wire with no anticipated interruption of service. If approved by the Connecticut Siting Council, construction would begin in 2013 and be in service by 2015. On Wednesday, Sept. 14, CL&P will host a forum from 6 to 8 p.m. at Mansfield Community Center on the proposal. To view Mansfield Town Council agenda, visit www.mansfieldct.gov.