The Salem Cable Project

Frequently Asked Questions


How can I stay updated on project progress?

To stay up-to-date on each phase of the project, please remember to sign up for our email updates, to like us on Facebook, and to follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Feel free to contact us through this website to ask questions, voice concerns, or offer suggestions. You can also call us on our toll-free hotline at 1-844-SALEM-CABLE (1-844-725-3622).

What is the expected timeline for completion?

As detailed in our project timeline, the entire project is projected to take 18 months, from start to finish, concluding in June 2016.

What can I expect for road closures?

National Grid will make every effort to minimize road closures, and we will alert Salem residents of affected areas frequently and regularly through social media (particularly Twitter), email newsletters, and physical signage.

How was the route was selected?

As required by the regulatory standards of the Massachusetts Energy Facility Siting Board, the Company evaluated a series of project alternatives that had the potential to meet the identified project need. During the permitting process, the Company developed several of its own proposed alternatives and reviewed alternatives presented by the public.

Project Alternatives to the current proposed project which were considered included;

(1) Replacement of the existing cables in their current locations within city streets; 
(2) Installation of two new cables along two different routes within city streets; 
(3) Installation of overhead transmission lines around the City of Salem; 
(4) Installation of hybrid overhead/underground transmission lines around the City of Salem; 
(5) Installation of submarine cables within Salem Harbor and underground within city streets around the Derby Street area; and 
(6) Installation of underground cables within existing city streets, the bike path and through the MBTA tunnel around the Derby Street area.

The project alternatives were evaluated in detail to determine which one was the best approach to meet the project need while balancing system reliability, at a reasonable cost, and minimizing environmental impact to the extent possible.

Were alternative routes examined? 

Each route was evaluated and scored on numerous criteria including, environmental impacts, social impacts, cost, constructability, and reliability. The Preferred Route was selected after a rigorous review of all Alternatives by the Company and the Energy Facilities Siting Board as the best option after careful consideration and comparison of all factors.  

How long will the new cables last before requiring replacement?

The cables themselves are expected to last 40 years or more while the ductline and manhole system is expected to last much longer.

Will the new cables release dielectric fluid like the old cables?

One of the Project’s goals with the replacement of these cables was to eliminate the possibility of future dielectric fluid releases. The new cable design consists of a solid dielectric material known as XLPE or cross-linked polyethylene, for electrical insulation and does not contains dielectric fluid.   


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