Electrical circuits with a history of poor performance would be targeted for upgrade according to Connecticut Light & Power's (CL&P) proposed system resiliency plan. A 5-year, $300 million infrastructure hardening plan has been filed with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). CL&P, a Northeast Utilities subsidiary, committed to file the plan with regulators as part of the recent merger with NSTAR.

“This infrastructure hardening plan is a key part of our efforts to improve CL&P’s emergency preparedness and response,” said Bill Quinlan, CL&P’s Senior Vice President of Emergency Preparedness. “We are confident that this investment will benefit our customers by improving the day-to-day reliability of our system and making it less vulnerable to outages due to extreme weather.”

CL&P's proposal consists of three parts: tree trimming, electrical hardening (making the wires less vulnerable to interruption) and structural hardening (strengthening of poles, crossarms and related equipment).

"These proposed improvements are based on what we presented to the Governor's Two-Storm Panel," said Dana Louth, CL&P's Vice President of Infrastructure Hardening. "Since then, we have been refining the scope of the plan and, if approved, work will begin in 2013. More than half of the proposed expenditures would go towards tree trimming, as trees remain the number one cause of outages," said Louth. Earlier this year, CL&P announced a significant enhancement to its tree trimming program, with the company spending $53.5 million in 2012, approximately doubling its 2011 expenditures.

A decision by PURA on CL&P’s system resiliency plan is anticipated later this year.