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Distribution Line Upgrades

The distribution portion of an electric system consists of the wires and poles typically visible along the streets and public ways, which ultimately connect to your home or business (learn more about how the electric system works). It is this portion of the system that will be upgraded from 4 kilovolts (kV) to 14 kV throughout the Island beginning in July 2017 (note: a small section of distribution work in Newport was already completed in Spring 2016).

This will require the running of new wires along several roads and properties on the Island, along with new, taller poles (approx. 5-10 ft. taller) to ensure the higher-voltage lines meet federal electric safety standards. Crews will be visible in bucket trucks and other equipment to perform this work. To minimize impacts, National Grid will execute a traffic management plan with state, city and public safety officials.

In advance of the distribution line work, crews will have to trim trees in and around the system. Tree trimming is paramount to maintaining a reliable electric system. You may see employees of our tree contractor canvassing the neighborhood prior to work being done in your area to notify residents about this work. National Grid always recommends customers ask for proper identification when being approached by a National Grid employee or contractor. Due to the location of the existing infrastructure, some work will need to take place on private property. National Grid will work closely with those property owners to coordinate access and work schedules. Some temporary electric service interruptions are anticipated.

Please explore our FAQs for additional information, as well as our distribution upgrades route map for specific locations.

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