CL&P’s Plan to Strengthen Electrical System Approved by State Regulators

  CL&P’s Plan to Strengthen Electrical System Approved by State Regulators

       The company will invest an additional $300 million through 2017

Business Wire

BERLIN, Conn. -- January 16, 2013

One of the biggest challenges in the electric industry is dealing with the
unpredictability of Mother Nature’s wrath. In Connecticut, the number one
cause of power outages is trees that damage electrical equipment, often as a
result of strong winds or ice. That’s why Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) has
developed a five-year, $300 million infrastructure strengthening plan,
designed to improve reliability and reduce the impact of severe weather.

CL&P’s “System Resiliency Plan,” approved today by the Connecticut Public
Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), focuses on three major initiatives –
tree trimming, electrical hardening through the use of coated thicker-gauge
wire, and structural hardening by strengthening utility poles, cross-arms and
related system equipment.

"PURA's approval is good news for our customers and we look forward to
starting these system improvements," said Bill Quinlan, CL&P’s Senior Vice
President of Emergency Preparedness. "This investment will benefit our
customers by improving the day-to-day reliability of our system and making it
less vulnerable to outages caused by extreme weather."

More than half of the $300 million will go toward tree trimming, as trees
cause the vast majority of outages during severe weather. $32 million will be
invested this year to expand the company’s tree trimming program, in addition
to its normal vegetation management program. Increasing tree trimming and
ensuring a clearance around electrical equipment has already proven beneficial
in areas such as the Farmington Valley, where trimming was increased and the
number of tree-related outages decreased.

Along with the tree trimming, next year the company will install thicker wire
that has a protective coating, known as "tree wire," that can better withstand
damage from falling branches or trees. The work will also involve the
replacement or refurbishment of utility poles and cross-arms to better
tolerate storm damage and reduce power outages.

These improvements will be focused on portions of the electrical system, or
circuits, that have historically experienced a number of outages during
day-to-day operations or as a result of severe weather. Now that the plan has
final approval, the work will begin this spring.

Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P), a Northeast Utilities company (NYSE: NU),
transmits and delivers electricity to 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and
towns. For more information, please visit www.cl-p.com, like us on Facebook
(facebook.com/CTLightandPower) and follow us on Twitter @CTLightandPower.

Contact:

For Connecticut Light & Power
Mitch Gross
Office: 860-665-5221
or
After Hours: 800-789-2290
 
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