The Connecticut Light and Power Co. (CL&P), part of the Northeast Utilities System (NU), announced that the Glenbrook Cables project was energized on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008, ahead of the original schedule. This project significantly improves the reliability of electric service along the corridor from Stamford to Norwalk, Connecticut. It is the third of four major transmission projects that are adding much-needed capacity to Fairfield County.
The project included building two, new underground 115-kV lines using environmentally friendly solid-core cables, which contain no fluid, and installing them under streets for a distance of 8.7 mi. Construction of the $239 million project began in October 2006.
“Energization of the Glenbrook Cables project brings improved reliability for electric customers in Connecticut and the region,” said Charles W. Shivery, NU chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The infrastructure upgrade is designed to meet customer demand for electricity, which continues to grow faster in the Stamford/Norwalk area than any other part of the state. In addition, the completion of Glenbrook Cables allows us to energize the Middletown-Norwalk project early, providing real savings for customers. These new transmission facilities enable CL&P to meet national reliability standards, which provide a more secure regional transmission grid.”
The company used a new technology to help enhance reliability for the region. To complete a section of the project near Stamford, engineers needed to drill a 220-ft tunnel under a busy commuter railroad track. So that it would not disrupt rail traffic, CL&P used a drilling machine similar to the one used to dig under the English Channel. The “horizontal tunneling” machine bored through a variety of hard rock and clay formations, causing minimal surface disruption. The result is a new underground power route that kept the trains running. In addition, the Glenbrook Cables project contains an option to make future upgrades to the 345-kV bulk power system without additional excavation.
In energizing the project ahead of schedule, CL&P acknowledged the teamwork and cooperation from its contractors; town officials in Stamford, Darien and Norwalk; the Connecticut Department of Transportation; the Connecticut Siting Council; the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control; the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection; the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and the Army Corps of Engineers.