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CL&P develops five-year plan to strengthen infrastructure

One of the biggest challenges in the electric industry is dealing with the unpredictability of Mother Nature’s wrath. In Connecticut, says Connecticut Light & Power, the No. 1 cause of power outages is trees that damage electrical equipment, often as a result of strong winds or ice.

That’s why  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 last week 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.

Thirty-two million dollars will be invested this year to expand the company’s tree trimming program, in addition to its normal vegetation management program, CL&P said.

Increasing tree trimming and ensuring a clearance around electrical equipment has already proven beneficial in such areas as the Farmington Valley, where trimming was increased and the number of tree-related outages decreased, CL&P said.

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.

Work will begin this spring.

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  • rdg-oldtimer

    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.*****What they will be doing is to up-grade their wire from “un-insulated” bare copper to insulated wire. Something that should have been done decades ago. There was a major up-grade in town about 1996, things got better, but they did not keep up the maintainance, so we all know what the results are. Seeing is believing!

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