Connecticut Light & Power will begin using a helicopter flying more than 80 ft above ground to pull lines through new transmission structures in the Windham area this week. The low-flying helicopter drastically reduces the amount of time it takes to install transmission lines and reduces disturbances to environmentally sensitive areas.
“This work is part of our Interstate Reliability Project, which will connect customers to cleaner, competitively-priced energy and improve reliability,” said Dwayne Basler, Vice President of Transmission Projects, Engineering & Maintenance for Northeast Utilities, parent company of CL&P. “Using the helicopter reduces the amount of time needed to complete the wire-stringing process in any particular area from days to hours, compared to conventional methods.”
The helicopter flights will occur intermittently from August to December 2014 in Lebanon, Columbia, Coventry, Mansfield and Chaplin. This aerial work will be completed in Hampton, Brooklyn, Pomfret, Killingly, Putnam and Thompson in 2015.
Work on the Interstate Reliability Project began last year and includes the construction of a new overhead 345-kV transmission line on 37 mi of existing right-of-way from Lebanon, Connecticut, to the Rhode Island border in Thompson. This project will be completed in late 2015.
The Interstate Reliability Project is part of a group of transmission projects called the New England East-West Solution (NEEWS). The project is designed to improve the delivery of electricity across Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Once complete, the new lines will provide the region’s electricity customers with the infrastructure that is critical to a healthy economy.