Topics: Public Utilities

CHATHAM — In the short term, new electrical equipment being installed in downtown Chatham aims to help town officials charge their new electric vehicles. But in the longer term, it’s designed to reduce the number and duration of power outages in the downtown area. John Ventura, Eversource Manager of Distribution System Engineering, spoke to selectmen last week to secure permission to install two new transforme...

HARWICH — Sara Chase lives on the south side of Route 28 in South Harwich, on the opposite side of Route 28 from the utility lines that run from pole to pole along the edge of the state highway. Chase assumed she would not have to worry about the beautiful English elm tree on the lawn in front of her home. Chase owns the Captain James M. Ellis House, built circa 1865, and she has cherished the English elm that...

CHATHAM — At the request of local business owners, selectmen this week rejected a proposal that would have put in place a one-month detour allowing only westbound traffic through the West Chatham Roadway Project construction zone. The decision will spare stores and restaurants in the area from the detour, which some claim would kill business, but it is also likely to add another year to the project. Roadway...

Solar Benefits Rewarding For Harwich

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The solar photovoltaic array at the landfill netted the town $441,216 last year. Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative manager Liz Argo was before selectmen Monday night to discuss the continuation of a one-quarter penny assessment on kilowatt hour generation to assist the agency in funding its operations. CVEC serves as the intermediary between municipalities on the Cape and Vineyard and contractor...

SOUTH HARWICH — Ospreys have returned to the Cape for the spring, following their migration from South America, and are busy settling into nests that have been used year after year. But one pair, unable to return to its nest on a South Harwich utility pole, has been offered alternate housing arrangements. Osprey pairs have been nesting on the pole near 915 Route 28, near Handren Bros. Builders, for several y...

HARWICH — Though National Grid will be continuing their replacement of mains and equipment in some locations, enough work will be complete in the next few weeks to allow the utility to lift the moratorium on new natural gas connections, a spokesman said. “We have a small section in Harwich that we’re still working on,” Robert Kievra said. “When that Harwich section is completed, approximately 14 miles of the...

Forty-five Panels Smashed At Town Solar Array

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM – Vandals caused $46,000 in damage to solar panels at the town's capped landfill in May, according to police. A blunt object was used to smash 45 of the photovoltaic panels, a meter and inverter components, said Lt. Michael Anderson. Security cameras in the area were not operational at the time, and there were no witnesses to the May 4 incident. Police don't believe the incident was a random act of ...

ORLEANS — A meeting with state legislators on the concerns of seniors last week morphed into a conversation about the Cape's aging power delivery systems. On March 16 at the senior center, state Sen. Julian Cyr and state Rep. Sarah Peake welcomed state Rep. Danielle Gregoire, House chair of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs. Modestly admitting that she hadn't even been a member of the committee before bei...

Lights Out: Recent Power Outages Raise Questions

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Come snow, rain, wind or high water, there’s one thing on the minds of many Lower Cape residents as the latest coastal storm passes through: will the lights stay on? In what appears to have been the largest power outage since Hurricane Bob in 1991, the Cape saw nearly 120,000 people without power during the height of last week’s blizzard, with the entire town of Chatham without electrical service f...

CHATHAM — For many years, you could almost locate the intersection of Main Street and Old Queen Anne Road in Chatham by smell. The odor of natural gas meant you were there. The low-grade leak in the pipes under the roadway was enough to cause a strong smell, but not enough to pose a public safety risk. Over the course of years, people reported the odor to the fire department and the gas company would investi...

ORLEANS -- Selectmen and the conservation commission voted unanimously this week to close the “air” B&B enjoyed by roosting cormorants for decades at Cedar Pond. In separate meetings, the boards accepted an agreement for judgment with Eversource in which the utility promises to relocate its 25kW distribution lines over the pond to nearby streets by the end of next year. It's hoped that will stop the aerial...

ORLEANS — Members of the conservation commission got two earfuls each of neighborhood opposition June 20 to Eversource's plan to relocate distribution lines from over Cedar Pond to above residential streets. No one from the public spoke in support of the plan for foiling the soiling of the pond caused by excretions of roosting cormorants. The utility proposed relocating the lines to Canal, Cedar Pond, Jones,...

CHATHAM — The board of selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday to pitch in $7,500 to support the legal battle to stop Eversource from spraying herbicides on power line right-of-ways on the Cape. The board also voted to send a letter to the Barnstable county commissioners urging them to support the effort. The vote came several weeks after selectmen opted to send a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Agricu...

HARWICH — The Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative, which oversees the solar farm at the former town landfill site, is facing financial issues and has asked selectmen for assistance with funding administrative operations. Selectmen last week agreed to pay an administrative fee to the organization for its oversight of the solar array at the town's landfill, money CVEC officials say they need to stay financial...