Sudbury residents concerned about news power lines in conservation area

SUDBURY, Mass. — Homeowners worry rising power lines could cause falling properly values in one Sudbury neighborhood.

Residents are worry this project will make their homes impossible to sell, but Eversource says the project is necessary to maintain reliability.

“Anyone who loves nature should be concerned,” Sudbury resident Renata Aylward said. “What we are trying to protect here is hundreds and hundreds of acres of beautiful conservation land.”

The Sudbury to Hudson Reliability Project involves installing high voltage power lines along an approximately 9-mile route along abandoned rail tracks that are part of a conservation area.

“Stringing overhead transmission lines through residential areas, that time is long gone,” Ray Philips, founder of pro-conservation group Project Sudbury, said. “We certainly, like everyone else, like to keep the lights on and want reliable energy, but what we are looking for are 21st century solutions to a 21st century problem not a 19th century solution.”

Eversource spokesperson Mike Durand told Boston 25 News that it’s clear residents are against overhead lines, and while there is an option to put the new lines under city streets, it’s far more costly.

So the utility company is pushing for a plan to put the lines underground along the rail tracks.

“There’s no evidence that we are aware of that an underground transmission line has any impact whatsoever on property values,” Durand said.

Still, it’s the uncertainty and the potential construction impact that has caused some homeowners to think twice about listing their properties after being told by real estate agents no one will buy until a decision is made.

“There will still be trenching and digging and spraying of pesticide in a conservation area and trucks in a conservation area and construction vehicles none of that belongs in preserved protected spaces,” Aylward said.

“We are very heavily regulated particularly when we do anything doing work that involves the environment or wetlands,” Durand said.

The final decision is up to the energy facilities siting board and will be made next year.

For more information on this project visit the Eversource Sudbury to Hudson Project website.