On Tuesday night, Connecticut Light & Power hosted an open house at the Stamford Government Center to discuss with residents a proposed underground transmission project.
The Reliability Cable Project, estimated to be a nine-month project, would introduce a 1.5 mile, 115,000 volt connector between the Lincoln Avenue Glenbrook Substation and the Manhattan Street South End Substation. It would be the second underground transmission project in Stamford since 2006.
"One overarching benefit is the additional path for the flow of electricity in either direction," said Frank J. Poirot, Senior Communications Specialist."Right now, there are only two transmissions circuits."
The new addition would carry three cables through the ground, all phased slightly differently, to balance the flow of power.
Poirot touted the added benefits of job creation in Stamford, what he called "good-paying construction jobs," and the positive impact the presence of those workers would have on local businesses like restaurants, fuel depots and similar establishments.
"Finally, once completed, this project becomes a taxable asset for Stamford," Poirot said. "It will add additional taxable revenue to the city."
The project was born out of a 2005 federal act imparting mandatory reliability standards on power supplies. The act itself was born from of the 2003 Northeast Blackout.
"We need to keep the power flowing even if one line went out," Poirot said.
Ideally, the line would hypothetically run from Atlantic and Manhattan streets and run roughly parallel to the train tracks all the way to the Lincoln Ave. substation. There are variations and alternate routes also outlined, but that is the current favorite among project officials.
The project has Mayor Michael Pavia's backing, who was excited city residents would finally have the opportunity to check out the outline of the project.
"This is a good thing for Stamford," he said. "It better guarantees the delivery of electricity to the residents here and makes our power more reliable."
Poirot said hypothetical issues that might come up from the impacted public include items like length of construction on overall quality of life and the impacts construction might have on traffic flow.
"We always want to work through that with the residents," Poirot said, and added all project plans must be submitted to the Connecticut Siting Council. "People will more often than not have questions about what we plan on doing. The Siting Council will likely hold a public hearing here in Stamford to address any concerns."