GREENWICH - State utility regulators held a public hearing at Greenwich Public Library Tuesday evening as they considered a controversial plan to add a new electric substation and underground power lines in Greenwich.

Eversource Energy, the company behind the proposal, says the project is essential to keep Greenwich powered beyond 2018, when the area is expected to reach maximum capacity.

Residents say the proposal would devalue their homes and pose a safety risk. More than 100 people came to the hearing to try and convince officials to find a new location for the project.

Eversource says it picked the Railroad Avenue location because it's near where most power is used in town.

The proposal also includes razing a pet store at 290 Railroad Ave. to make room for the substation. There are already two other substations on the same street, and residents question the wisdom of having so many close together.

"The thought of living with these electromagnetic fields 50 feet from the end of my driveway is a little disconcerting," says Cecilia Morgan.

Eversource spokesman Frank Poirot says the company is prepared to do ongoing safety testing as a condition of approval.