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Asset Condition Refurbishment Project

Final design and route are subject to change pending public, engineering, and regulatory review.
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Project Overview

This A1/B2 Asset Condition Refurbishment project proposed by National Grid, operating as New England Power Company, plans to address the existing 69kV A1 and B2 transmission lines constructed in 1909 as they are approaching the end of their asset life. The scope to rebuild these lines includes structure replacements, structure foundations, new conductor, and right-of-way access improvements where necessary along the approximate 61 miles of existing right-of-way.

Project Location

This project originates in Vernon, Vermont, travels through Hinsdale and Winchester, New Hampshire then continues through a number of towns within Northern Massachusetts including, Warwick, Royalston, Winchendon, Gardner, Westminster, Fitchburg, Leominster, and Sterling.

Coming off the mainline, this project also includes the Athol Tap and the Crystal Lake Tap. The Athol Tap runs from Royalston Substation to Chestnut Hill Ave Substation in Athol, Massachusetts. The Crystal Lake Tap runs from Gardner Switching Station to Crystal Lake Substation in Gardner, Massachusetts.

Project Status

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board will be hosting three hybrid public comment hearings for the A1/B2 Asset Condition Refurbishment Project. On Wednesday, April 10, 2024, one public comment hearing will be hosted at the Athol Public Library at 1:00 PM and another will be hosted at Mount Wachusett Community College at 6:30 PM. On Thursday, April 11, 2024, the third public comment hearing will be hosted at Fitchburg State University at 6:30PM. Please see the below notice for more details including the addresses of each location and the link to attend virtually.

Energy Facilities Siting Board – Public Comment Hearing Notice

La Junta de Ubicación de Instalaciones Energéticas de la Mancomunidad de Massachusetts (EFSB; Energy Facilities Siting Board) organizará tres audiencias híbridas de comentarios públicos para el Proyecto de renovación de las condición de bienes A1/B2. El miércoles 10 de abril de 2024, se llevará a cabo una audiencia de comentarios públicos en la Biblioteca pública de Athol a la 1:00 p. m. Otra audiencia será en Mount Wachusett Community College a las 6:30 p. m. El jueves 11 de abril de 2024, la tercera audiencia de comentarios públicos se llevará a cabo en la Universidad Estatal de Fitchburg a las 6:30 p.m. Consulte el aviso a continuación para obtener más detalles, incluidas las direcciones de cada ubicación y el enlace para asistir virtualmente.

Junta de Ubicación de Instalaciones Energéticas– Aviso de Audiencia de Comentarios Públicos

As of March 2024:

The A1/B2 ACR project team has been continuing the permitting process and preparing for the upcoming forestry work scheduled in New Hampshire.

Throughout the winter, the survey team has placed stakes and/or flags to mark the Vermont and New Hampshire right-of-way (ROW) and access roads ahead of the pre-construction tree work. Tree work, including tree removals, in New Hampshire is planned to begin in March 2024 within the ROW and on access roads as needed. We are sending an updated advance notification via mail to New Hampshire abutters. Vermont and Massachusetts tree work will occur at a later, undetermined date. We will continue to provide mail updates as well as upload future updates here.

In Massachusetts, the team is preparing to file with the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB). Currently, construction in Massachusetts is anticipated to begin in fall 2025 pending our permitting outcome with the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB). Line work in Massachusetts is anticipated to begin in 2026.

Please continue to check this website, reach out to us directly via the project Hotline (844) 500-3536, email, or complete a contact form through this website if you have any questions.

Latest Update

On October 31, 2023, NEP will file a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office for the Massachusetts portion of the lines. A copy of this report can be found on this project website. A paper copy and/or translated copy can also be requested by emailing, The DEIR will be published in the Environmental Monitor on November 8, 2023. The deadline for public comments is December 8, 2023. To provide comments, you may do so by locating the DEIR on

NEP will continue to communicate with the MEPA office regarding questions and will eventually file a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). When the FEIR is filed you will also receive notification of this. In the meantime, we will continue to work with federal, state, and local agencies as necessary to ensure the project is constructed and operated in compliance with state and local standards.

Past Update

Thank you to all who attended this summer’s open houses and reached out for more information. The project team had a great time meeting everyone and discussing any questions or concerns that were raised.

Beginning in late October 2023, select tree removals and associated forestry work will take place in the right-of-way (ROW) and access roads as needed in Vermont and New Hampshire in preparation for construction. Team members are also reviewing the ROW and access roads to leave stakes where activities will take place. Landowners in Vermont and New Hampshire will be receiving a notification in the mail about this activity.

During this time, you may see an increase of crew members and equipment such as a bucket truck and mower in the ROW and on access roads. This work will be ongoing until the activities are completed. Construction is anticipated to begin in Summer 2024 - starting in Vermont and working down the line into New Hampshire. This schedule is subject to change.

As always, please feel free to reach out to our Public Outreach team by emailing, calling the toll-free project hotline at (844) 500-3536 or by filling out the contact form on the Contact Us tab.

Open houses are just around the corner!

Please keep an eye out for invitations in the mail and join us at any of the following open houses this Summer.

  • July 17, 2023 at Vernon Town Hall, 567 Governor Hunt Road, Vernon, VT 05354
  • July 24, 2023 at Winchester Elementary, 85 Parker Street, Winchester, NH 03470
  • August 22, 2023 at Athol Public Library, 568 Main Street, Athol, MA 01331
  • August 24, 2023 at Gardner City Hall, 95 Pleasant Street, Gardner, MA 01440
  • August 28, 2023 at Fitchburg Senior Center, 14 Wallace Ave, Fitchburg, MA 01420

Team members from departments including engineering, construction planning, environmental, forestry and real estate will be present to answer questions and meet residents.

A Spanish interpreter will be present at both the Gardner City Hall and Fitchburg Senior Center open houses, with a Portuguese interpreter also present at the Fitchburg Senior Center. We are committed to providing ample access and opportunity to stay up to date on this project. Please feel free to call us at +1 (844) 500 - 3536 or emailing us at if you have any questions.

We look forward to seeing you!

Team members are continuing to work on the permitting and design phase of the Project. Field assessments along the Project route will continue as needed and soil boring activities are expected to continue into Fall 2023. Soil borings require some preparation work so residents may see some tree trimming along the access routes.

We have published a Project Overview video to describe the Project in more detail as well as provide visuals for the construction and restoration process. Take a look on the left side of the website’s main page to view!

The Outreach team is continuing to present the Project at Town’s Board of Selectmen or City Council meetings this month. This Spring/Summer, we will send invitations to attend local open houses which will provide another opportunity to meet the Project team, ask questions and learn what to expect as we continue our preparation for construction.

Construction is planned to begin in 2024, starting in Vermont and New Hampshire, then beginning the Massachusetts portion of the project in 2025 (schedule subject to change).

As always, our Outreach team is happy to answer any questions. You may reach us via the contact form on this website, the Project Hotline (844) 500-3536 or the Project email at

There continues to be a number of field assessments occurring this summer so be sure to check back here for updates. The engineers continue to evaluate structure placements for their design. To provide information to the team we are currently working with CDM Smith to conduct Seismic Refractions which is an activity to help determine the composition of soil within the area of the existing structures. This team travels in on foot and collects data which typically takes a few hours. They are working their way along the right of way beginning in Massachusetts and working their way to New Hampshire and Vermont.

There is also a cultural survey team evaluating the right of way.

Additionally, we are also beginning to evaluate soil boring locations which are expected to occur later this summer into the fall. Both the seismic and soil borings do require some prep work where you may see some tree trimming along the access routes.

The outreach team is also beginning to plan door-to-door outreach this summer. We look forward to speaking with you all about the project relative to your location to the right of way.

Later this fall, be sure to watch your mailbox for invitations to local open houses which will provide you another opportunity to meet the project team and ask us additional questions about the project and what to expect as we continue our preparation for construction later in 2025. (Schedule may be subject to change).

During this phase, the project team seeks to review historical and current line and right of way information in order to evaluate various options on how to construct this project.

Continual team conversations are had to ensure that we all are working towards the common goal of ensuring that the efforts will meet the project needs; that we review all possible alternatives; that we lessen the environmental impacts for the short and long term; and that we seek efficiencies, when possible, to reduce the overall project costs.

Starting this year, the team will begin to file for federal and state permits necessary for upcoming activities as well as for construction planning. These permitting processes will be available for federal and state board level reviews, but will also available for interested parties to review and provide feedback. The soil boring effort will continue along the right of way this year. Further notifications will be sent once a schedule of this work is prepared.