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NH regulators approve Eversource, National Grid 345-kV line

New Hampshire regulators have given the final approvalneeded for EversourceEnergy and NationalGrid USA's joint Merrimack Valley Reliability Project, which willconsist of a new overhead 345-kV transmission line stretching from the ScobiePond substation in Londonderry, N.H., to the state border at Pelham, N.H.,before extending to Tewksbury, Mass.

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee on Oct. 4 issueda certificate of approval for the 24.5-mile transmission line to be built on an existingright-of-way. The certificate is the last regulatory signoff required for the$125 million project, which Eversource and National Grid expect to beginconstructing this autumn. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilitiesapproved the Massachusetts portion of the project in April.

"This project will strengthen the power grid thatunderpins the economic vitality and powers the quality of life in theregion," Rudy Wynter, president of National Grid's FERC-regulatedoperations, said in a news release. "A robust, reliable transmissionsystem is critical to support job growth and enable our 21st century economy."

National Grid and Eversource announced at the start of 2015their partnership tobuild the transmission project that seeks to improve reliability in southernNew Hampshire and the Greater Boston area as identified by in its 2008Greater Boston Solutions study. Eversource is responsible for about 10 miles ofthe line and National Grid for 8 miles.

The grid operator selected the project in along with a series ofother projects by National Grid and Eversource. Collectively known as theGreater Boston and New Hampshire Solution, the other projects include a 345-kVline running about 8.5 miles underground between Eversource's Woburn substationin Woburn, Mass., and National Grid's Wakefield substation in Wakefield, Mass.,and a 115-kV line running about 8 miles underground from Eversource's Mysticsubstation in Everett, Mass., to the Woburn substation.

National Grid and Eversource previously paired up toincrease transmission capacity across Connecticut, Rhode Island andMassachusetts with their $1.6 billion New England East-West Solution projects,which were completedin December 2015.

Eversource is known legally in New Hampshire as . National Grid is developing the projectthrough subsidiary New EnglandPower Co.