boston globe West

NStar should go underground

November 1, 2009

NStar can protect both the aesthetics of Wayland’s scenic roads and its wires by moving them underground. (“
Residents take aim at NStar tree trims,” Globe West, Oct. 18.)

Placing wires underground in conduits is affordable when done right. In Concord - served by a municipal electric utility, not NStar (see - 40 percent of the electric network is already underground and another 1.5 miles of wires are moved underground each year.

The cost to electricity consumers? Effectively zero. The Concord utility spends $600,000 per mile to transfer wires underground, but charges 40 percent less than NStar for the same electricity.

Instead of disfiguring trees, NStar needs a long-term undergrounding plan to improve the aesthetics of the communities it serves and to improve service reliability - falling tree limbs don’t cause power outages when wires are underground.

Patrick Mehr
Lexington Electric Utility Committee