Northeast Utilities (NU; Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.) has contracted with Burns & McDonnell (Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.) to provide program management services on one of the largest electric transmission line projects currently under development in the country.

The overall large-scale project, New England East-West Solution (NEEWS), is actually comprised of four transmission reliability projects that traverse areas in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The project is designed to resolve critical reliability issues identified by ISO-New England), New England's bulk power system operator, and strengthen the interconnections between Massachusetts and Connecticut by upgrading the transmission network to meet regional and national reliability standards. NEEWS also will provide added economic and environmental benefits by enhancing access to cleaner, competitively priced energy electricity, including renewable resources.

Burns & McDonnell will provide project management, engineering, project controls, community relations support, safety management, procurement and construction management services, along with siting and permitting support for NU's portions of the project.

NU is responsible for the Greater Springfield Reliability Project, the Connecticut portion of the Interstate Reliability Project and the Central Connecticut Reliability Project. National Grid is responsible for the Massachusetts and Rhode Island portions of the Interstate Reliability Project and the Rhode Island Reliability Project.

Informational open houses in communities along the route have already begun and will continue throughout the fall of 2008. Construction is expected to begin mid-2010.

Burns & McDonnell will use its OneTouchPM tool to help manage the project. This is a proprietary software package that blends GoogleEarth, geographic information systems and construction management software to allow project managers to “see” data in a real-world environment.