CMP Puts Upgraded Transmission Line in Western Maine Back Into Service

Central Maine Power (CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, has re-energized a 13.9-mi 115-kV transmission line connecting the Riley Substation in Jay, Maine to the Rumford IP Substation in Rumford, Maine. The completion of the transmission line work earlier this month is yet another milestone in the Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP), a $1.4 billion upgrade of CMP’s bulk electric transmission system in Maine.

The line, known as Section 229, was originally built in 1959. As part of the MPRP, it was removed and fully rebuilt with 185 new single-pole structures. The new line will add flexibility and improve reliability in the area, and the single-pole construction leaves enough room in the existing corridor for a second 115-kV transmission line. Construction of the second line, designed to even further enhance service in the western portion of CMP’s service area, is expected to begin later this year.

“After completing the Larrabee Road Substation in Lewiston, energizing Section 229 is the second step in our efforts to boost the transmission capacity for the western part of our service area and meet the needs of our customers for years to come,” said Doug Herling, CMP vice president of Special Projects and executive sponsor of the MPRP. “The benefits are many — more reliable service for customers, greater access to renewable sources of energy being developed in this part of the state, and jobs for people who need them.”

Irby Construction was the main contractor for the work, much of which took place in extremely remote and rugged terrain. Subcontractors Cianbro Corp. of Pittsfield, Maine, Maine Drilling and Blasting of Gardiner, Maine, and Shaw Brothers of Gorham, Maine employed dozens of Maine workers and helped to complete critical tasks for the project.

Section 229, which runs from CMP’s Riley Substation in Jay to the Rumford IP Substation in Rumford, is viewed from the air during its final inspection.

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