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The Massachusetts Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance (Mass AREA) offers its full support for the Northeast Utilities Greater Springfield Reliability Project. In particular the Northern Route plan, which has an overall lower impact on both costs and the environment.

In January of this year, Mass AREA and its partner, the New England Energy Alliance, issued a brief on the state of the region's transmission system. The paper concluded that essentially, the grid's current high degree of reliability is on borrowed time. Without continued and increased investment, lack of transmission will negatively impact consumers, the economy and the environment.

Further, in August 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy identified two locations in Massachusetts where a large-scale transmission congestion problem exists or may be emerging; they are Boston and the Southern New England East-West flows. The Greater Springfield Reliability Project is the first step in implementing improvements to the Southern New England East-West flows. It is imperative that the project move ahead.

Massachusetts already has the second highest electricity prices in the country. Without infrastructure improvements such as the Greater Springfield Reliability Project, the system's reliability will decline and electricity prices will continue to rise. Investment in our transmission infrastructure is desperately needed and vitally important to maintaining an adequate, reliable and affordable supply of electricity.

Joyce McMahon

Director of Communications

Massachusetts Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance