Eversource Energy announced plans March 29 to invest approximately $115 million to update its natural gas distribution system in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Plans for the company's $65 million investment in Massachusetts and $50 million in Connecticut include installing new specialized plastic pipes in place of the existing cast iron and steel pipe to better handle fluctuations in underground temperatures, according to two separate new releases.
"Safely delivering a reliable supply of clean, convenient natural gas is the most important service we can provide our customers," Bill Akley, president of gas operations at Eversource, said in the release. "We've increased our gas line replacement commitment by five miles again this year and have begun our work in communities across our service area."
Additionally, over the past six years, Eversource has upgraded about 160 miles of older gas lines in central and eastern Massachusetts. Much of these upgrades took place in and around areas where natural gas service has been available the longest, such as New Bedford, Worcester, Somerville and Cambridge.
In Connecticut, Eversource is upgrading gas lines in New London and replacing more than two miles of pipe in Ocean Beach. Another two miles of pipe is being upgraded in the Shippan area of Stamford.
In 2017, the company plans in Massachusetts to replace seven miles of lines in New Bedford, five miles in Worcester and over three miles in communities including Cambridge, Dedham and Somerville. Eversource will also complete more than 10 miles of replacement work in the communities of Marlborough, Framingham, Hyde Park, Kingston, Marion and Natick.
Massachusetts pipeline upgrades are also scheduled in communities like Acushnet, Fairhaven, Dartmouth, Plymouth, Hopedale, Maynard, Upton, Westwood, Needham, Holliston, Hudson, Milford, Uxbridge, Auburn, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Meriden, Middletown, Putnam and Wallingford. The company aims to have all the gas pipe improvements completed by November.