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Friday, May 02, 2003

Heavy Cardboard Carton Contains Plans

Heavy Cardboard Carton Contains Plans for $500 million Power Upgrade
Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell found a heavy cardboard carton awaiting her in the office today. It contained a plan for a $500 million upgrade of power lines in the region.

Copies of the eight-volume report on the plan were delivered to Farrell and chief executives of 23 other municipalities Thursday, according to the Connecticut Light & Power Co. and United Illuminating Co.

Public hearings on the plan, which would triple the capacity of transmission lines over a 69-mile stretch in municipalities from Middletown to Norwalk, are scheduled for this spring and summer. The project will then go before the Connecticut Siting Council for approval.

About 24 miles of the line, from Milford to Norwalk, would be buried underground. The northern part of the line would be installed on overhead wires.

The utilities said they are proposing the upgrade because the power supply in southwestern Connecticut is strained during high demand. The region also lacks enough capacity on its own to meet its power needs.

The Siting Council is expected to rule in June on another CL&P proposal to install 345-kilovolt service along 20 miles from Bethel to Norwalk.



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