In response to widespread long-lasting power outages during Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, then again during the October nor’easter, Connecticut Light & Power has filed a plan with state regulators for a five-year, $300 million “infrastructure hardening plan” to make the wires less vulnerable to interruption.
The plan filed yesterday with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority targets electrical circuits with a history of poor performance to be upgraded, according to Connecticut Light & Power.
“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.”
According to a news release from CL&P, the company’s proposal consists of tree trimming, electrical hardening and structural hardening, which includes strengthening of poles, crossarms and related equipment.
"These proposed improvements are based on what we presented to the Governor's Two-Storm Panel," Dana Louth, CL&P's Vice President of Infrastructure Hardening said in a news release.
Louth said the company has been refining the scope of the plan and, if it is 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," Louth said.
CL&P said the company allocated $53.5 million in 2012 for tree trimming, which was about double what it spent in 2011.
PURA is expected to make a decision later this year.