- New England East-West Solution Program
The studies that led to the New-England East-West Solution (NEEWS) projects were among the most geographically comprehensive planning efforts to date in New England. This coordinated regional look at reliability came in response to the assessment made by independent system operator ISO-New England (ISO-NE) that while a number of reliability problems in southern New England were being independently identified, and they were, in fact, interrelated. These issues included:
- Limitations to east-west movement of electricity on the New England power grid
- Weaknesses in transmission around the greater Springfield area, a major interstate transmission hub
- Limitations to moving electricity among 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
The resulting projects comprising the NEEWS program are:
- Greater Springfield Reliability Project
- Interstate Reliability Project
- Rhode Island Reliability Project (a National Grid initiative, not within Burns & McDonnell’s scope of work)
Additionally, there were two ancillary projects needed to support the NEEWS program. Burns & McDonnell acted as program manager for:
- Agawam to West Springfield Circuit Separation Project
- Manchester to Meekville Junction Project
- Program management
- Community relations
- Detailed engineering
- Land acquisition
- Cost controls
- Document controls
- Environmental studies
- Environmental monitoring
- Construction management
Burns & McDonnell was the program manager for the NEEWS program. Program management involves providing 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(s). A program manager provides detailed managerial support with added technical value to the owner and is normally involved from the earliest stages of a project.
In addition to program management, Burns & McDonnell is responsible for the detailed design of the Eversource Energy (formerly Northeast Utilities Service Co.) new next-generation substation protection and controls. The new P&C system integrates relays, SCADA equipment and yard equipment using IEC 61850 protocol, significantly reducing costly wiring.
Greater Springfield Reliability Project (GSRP)
The GSRP consisted of 35 circuit miles of new 345-kV and 60 circuit miles of 115-kV overhead transmission line running north from Bloomfield, Connecticut, to Ludlow, Massachusetts. GSRP also included 13 new or rebuilt substations/switching stations. Siting approvals in Connecticut and Massachusetts were received in 2010. Construction began in Massachusetts in late 2010, and in Connecticut in late 2011. The project was placed in service ahead of schedule and under budget by $40 million in November 2013. At project completion, the GSRP achieved more than 2.9 million work hours without a safety recordable. Engineering News-Record recognized it as Project of the Year in 2014 for the New England region.
GSRP Stakeholder Management Highlights
- Affected more than 850 direct abutters spanning eight densely populated towns in two states
- Delivered over 10,000 door hanger notifications
- Managed over 800 stakeholder commitments
Interstate Reliability Project
This effort consists of 37 miles of new 345-kV overhead line and three substation/switching station upgrades. The project runs in a northeasterly direction from Card Street Substation in Lebanon, Connecticut, to the Rhode Island border. It was complete in 2015.
Agawam to West Springfield Circuit Separation Project
This project separated two115-kV circuits that occupied the same transmission towers on 2.5 miles of Eversource’s rights-of-way in Agawam and West Springfield, Massachusetts. Construction began in 2010 and was put into service in spring 2011.
Manchester to Meekville Junction Project
This 2.7-mile project consisted of the construction of a new 345-kV overhead line and the modification of existing lines on Eversource rights-of-way located in Manchester, Connecticut. The project also included modifications to the Manchester Substation. Construction was completed in 2013.