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National Grid: $93M Updates Needed On Growing Aquidneck Island

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National Grid said the tremendous growth on Aquidneck Island has prompted it to spend $93 million on upgrading its power system there. The utility said...

National Grid said the tremendous growth on Aquidneck Island has prompted it to spend $93 million on upgrading its power system there.

The utility said the current system is outdated and will soon be overwhelmed. How outdated is it? Well, one substation was built in 1949.

And with more customers coming online, National Grid spokesman David Graves said upgrades needed to handle peak usage on hot days. “Right now we’re able to deliver about 147megawats of electricity. We’re looking forward in a few years’ time when the demand is going to be 167 megawatts, so obviously work needs to be done,” said Graves.

The work includes two substations, two high-voltage transmission lines between Portsmouth and Middletown, and stringing a number of lines to homes and businesses. National Grid will also remove four old substations in Newport.

Graves said there will be public hearings, a webinar, website and hotline to keep Aquidneck Island residents updated on the work, which is expected to wrap up in 2020.

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National Grid: $93M Updates Needed On Growing Aquidneck Island
National Grid: $93M Updates Needed On Growing Aquidneck Island