DE 98-100 PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE Petition for Licenses to Cross Public Waters Order Nisi Approving Electric Lines and Fiber Optic Cable Over and Across Public Waters O R D E R N O. 22,973 July 6, 1998 The Petitioner, Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH), filed on June 10, 1998, a petition under RSA 371:17 for authority to construct and maintain electric lines and fiber optic cable over and across public waters in the State of New Hampshire. The petition specifically identifies 18 fiber optic cable crossings and 2 existing electric line crossings in 8 towns and 1 city. The fiber optic cable crossings are new crossings on existing structures while the 2 existing electric line crossings had not been previously licensed by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (Commission). On June 19, 1998, PSNH filed a supplement to its petition in response to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission Staff's (Staff) request for additional information. In order to meet the requirements of service to the public, PSNH must maintain electric lines over and across certain public waters. These lines are an integral part of PSNH's electric system. In order to upgrade the reliability and capacity of the communications systems used in its electric system operations, PSNH must install fiber optic cable over and across certain public waters. These fiber optic cables will become an integral part of PSNH's communications systems used in its electric system operations. These fiber optic cable sections are a continuation of the 5-COM project specified in Dockets DE 96-370 and DE 97-117. RSA 371:17 defines public waters as "all ponds of more than ten acres, tidewater bodies, and such streams or portions thereof as the Commission may prescribe". The Commission has defined these waters as "those streams which are commonly used for navigation". 35 NHPUC 94 (1953). PSNH and Staff agree that these crossings fall within this definition. PSNH proposes, at each crossing, to install an underbuilt all dielectric self-supporting fiber optic cable, known as ADSS cable. Detailed information regarding the location, construction, and design of the crossings which PSNH now seeks to license is provided in the petition. Two existing electric water crossings in Keene are unlicensed. Detailed information concerning these two crossings in contained in PSNH's supplement to its petition. Upon review of the filed documentation, Staff has verified that all of these clearances meet the requirements of the 1997 National Electrical Safety Code. PSNH has stated that the use and enjoyment by the public of said public waters will not be diminished in any material respect as a result of the overhead line and cable crossings. The Commission finds pursuant to RSA 374:17 such crossings necessary for PSNH to enhance its service to its electric customers within its authorized franchise area and to be in the public good. In making this determination, the Commission is not ruling on the question of whether the fiber optic cable is prudent, used and useful for ratemaking/cost recovery purposes. Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby ORDERED NISI, that Public Service Company of New Hampshire is authorized, pursuant to RSA 371:17 et seq., to construct, maintain and operate electric lines and fiber optic cable over and across the public waters of the State of New Hampshire at the 18 locations described in the attachment to this order, in the Towns of Antrim, Deering, Goffstown, Hillsborough, New Boston, Swanzey, Weare, and Winchester, and in the City of Keene for purposes of assisting PSNH in enhancing its service to its electric customers, unless the Commission otherwise directs prior to the proposed effective date; and it is FURTHER ORDERED, that all construction and future reconstruction to said approved crossings, shall conform to the requirements of the National Electrical Safety Code and all other applicable safety standards in existence at that time; and it is FURTHER ORDERED, that pursuant to N.H. Admin. Rules, Puc 1604.03 or Puc 1605.03, PSNH shall cause a copy of this Order Nisi to be published once in a statewide newspaper of general circulation or of circulation in those portions of the state where operations are conducted, such publication to be no later than July 13, 1998, 1998 and to be documented by affidavit filed with this office on or before July 20, 1998; and it is FURTHER ORDERED, that PSNH notify the Towns of Antrim, Deering, Goffstown, Hillsborough, New Boston, Swanzey, Weare, and Winchester, and the City of Keene of this matter by serving a copy of this order on the Town/City Clerk by first-class mail postmarked no later than July 13, 1998, with said notification to be verified by affidavit filed on or before July 20, 1998; and it is FURTHER ORDERED, that all persons interested in responding to this petition be notified that they may submit their comments or file a written request for a hearing on this matter before the Commission no later than July 27, 1998; and it is FURTHER ORDERED, that any party interested in responding to such comments or request for hearing shall do so no later than August 3, 1998; and it is FURTHER ORDERED, that this Order Nisi shall be effective August 6, 1998, unless the Commission provides otherwise in a supplemental order issued prior to the effective date. By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New Hampshire this sixth day of July, 1998. Douglas L. Patch Bruce B. Ellsworth Susan S. Geiger Chairman Commissioner Commissioner Attested by: Thomas B. Getz Executive Director and Secretary Attachment Petition Reference Town/City Body of Water Transmission Line No. From Structure To Structure a Swanzey Ashuelot River N186 #54 #55 b Winchester Ashuelot River N186 #150 #151 c Goffstown Glen Lake Inlet F162 #3 #4 d Goffstown Piscataquog River F162 #40 #41 e Goffstown Piscataquog River F162 #44 #45 f New Boston Piscataquog River F162 #60 #61 g Weare Daniel's Lake F162 #78 #79 h Weare Daniel's Lake F162 #81 #82 i Weare Beaver Pond F162 #165 #166 #167 #168 #169 #170 #166 #167 #168 #169 #170 #171 j Deering- Hillsborough Contoocook River F162 #249 #250 k Hillsborough Contoocook River F162 #249 #250 l Hillsborough Contoocook River F162 #255 #256 m New Boston Piscataquog River F162 #58 #59 n Antrim North Branch River L163 #35 #36 o Antrim Steel's Pond L163 #44 #45 p* Keene Three Mile Reservoir L163 #240 #241 q Keene Ashuelot River L163 #272 #273 r* Keene Ashuelot River L163 #291 #292 *Existing unlicensed electrical water crossing requesting both electric and fiber optic cable licenses.