Eversource holding an open house for Pochassic Road proposal

WESTFIELD—New England energy provider Eversource will be holding an open house tonight so residents can learn more about a newly proposed construction of transmission system improvements in the city.

The proposal, called the Westfield Reliability Project (WRP), is being sought in order to improve delivery of energy throughout the area for Eversource customers. It is expected to occur on or near already-existing structures on Pochassic Road and near Buck Pond. The open house however, will be occurring at Westfield High School on Montgomery Road from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“It’s to inform residents living near and any who have interest in the project that we are doing,” Frank Poirot of Eversource said about the open house. “In the past there may have been a letter sent to abutting residents, but we feel that the open house format puts residents one-on-one with experts.”

Poirot said that the project, if OKed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, would provide a second circuit for power to travel through in the area. The power lines for this project would be put on structures that already hold lines and have space for additional. Also, a switching station would be built on Oakdale Avenue, adjacent to the substation on Pochassic Road.

“It provides electricity with another path to flow, supplies us with redundancy on the grid. So in the event of a storm or more recently, the heat we had, it provides another path for power to flow on,” Poirot said.

He said that the cost of the project is not fully determined yet, but any cost that would go to customers would be shared by the customers and would be a “minor charge.”

Construction, if approved, would begin in the third quarter of 2018 and completed by the first quarter of 2019, Poirot said.

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