Central Maine Power Co. (CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, has received approval for a major transmission system upgrade in the Lewiston/Auburn area. Following an extensive study of alternative solutions for meeting the future power needs of the state’s third largest metropolitan area, the Maine Public Utilities Commission has granted a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for the utility’s $43 million Lewiston Loop project.
“The Lewiston Loop will enable CMP to continue to provide reliable transmission service to homes and businesses in the Lewiston/Auburn area,“ said Sara Burns, President and Chief Executive Officer of CMP. “This important upgrade will support the area’s reliability needs, encourage growth, and help to create a stronger, smarter grid for Maine.”
The project includes construction of a new substation on Middle Street in Lewiston, a 6-mi 115-kV overhead transmission line between the Larrabee Road Substation and the new Middle Street site, a 1-mi underground 115-kV line between Middle Street and the Lewiston Lower Substation, decommissioning of the Lewiston Steam Substation, and various other upgrades. The Larrabee Road substation was completed earlier this year as a part of CMP’s $1.4 billion Maine Power Reliability Program.
Lewiston mayor Robert Macdonald welcomed the company’s investment in the city’s infrastructure.
“The city has had over $297 million in economic development in the downtown since 2000 with more on the way, and we have been pushing for electrical infrastructure upgrades since 2004,” he said. “The added capacity, safety, and reliability that this project will support many years of additional growth, and that’s great for our downtown and the broader region as well.”
The project cost is estimated at $43 million, but because its benefits extend throughout New England, only $14 million will be borne by Maine ratepayers.
Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in 2014 and be completeby 2017.