What’s going on with the Hingham Electrical Infrastructure Reliability Project (HEIRP)?
Dear HMLP Customers:
Almost a decade ago, HMLP began looking at how to ensure the reliability, long-term sustainability and resiliency of our electric supply. At issue for HMLP is the route and manner by which we currently obtain electricity from the Massachusetts electric grid – via two overhead electric lines. A portion of these overhead supply lines parallel the MBTA railroad line, as you can see in the accompanying photo.
As currently configured, the parallel overhead transmission lines serving Hingham do not meet established reliability standards. Any number of contingencies – such as an extreme weather event or a train accident - could disrupt Hingham’s power supply for days, or even weeks. Because HMLP’s current system does not meet state and federal reliability standards for utilities, it became clear a few years ago that HMLP needed a third transmission line to ensure continuous and uninterrupted power. Moreover, a third transmission line will support the Town of Hingham’s Climate Action Plan as the Town and HMLP together proceed with electrification efforts necessary to meet climate change goals.
Early studies conducted by HMLP found that the new transmission line should be built underground and that a new substation in Hingham also would be required in order to ensure reliability and position HMLP to serve growing electrification needs over time.