Central Maine Power Company (CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, has reached two milestones on the Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP). Last week, construction crews set the 5,000th structure for the project in the town of Bowdoinham. Last month, crews set the last transmission structure for the southern segment of the project in the town of Wells.
“Reaching these milestones puts us even closer to completing our project to build a stronger, smarter grid for Maine,” said CMP President and CEO Sara J. Burns. “The MPRP remains on time and on budget.”
The MPRP is nearly 95 percent complete. Along with enhancing reliability, it will provide a foundation for future development of the region’s bulk power grid. Among future projects under consideration, CMP recently announced plans to work with Emera Maine to further enhance the strength and capacity of the state’s bulk power grid and improve access for new generation resources.
Construction on the MPRP began in 2010 and is expected to be complete in 2015. To date, four out of five new substations have been energized, and now more than 5,000 new transmission structures have been installed. The project’s southern section from the New Hampshire border to the town of Gorham is now almost complete. It includes 80 mi of new transmission lines along more than 900 transmission structures through 16 communities in York and Cumberland counties.
Companies working on the program include project manager Burns & McDonnell; transmission line designer Power Engineers; as well as major contractors CPM Constructors, MYR, Irby, Wilbros, Cianbro, ES Boulos, Sargent, Shaw Brothers, and Asplundh.
Other contractors on the MPRP include Aldridge Electric, TRC, Comprehensive Land Technologies, Crux Subsurface, Elecnor, Grondin, Haverfield Aviation, Maine Drilling & Blasting, SGC Engineering, and Winco Helicopters.
“These upgrades in central and southern Maine will provide customers with a much more robust electricity delivery system,” said Burns. “The MPRP will also help to facilitate the integration of new generation resources, including renewable power being developed in northern and western Maine, into the grid.”
The MPRP will ensure the long-term reliability of CMP’s bulk power system. The project includes the construction of four new 345-kV substations, one new 115-kV substation, and related facilities linked by approximately 440 mi of new transmission lines. The new facilities will reinforce the backbone of the company’s 40-year-old bulk power system and improve reliability. The MPRP is the largest construction project ever undertaken in Maine. More than 2,700 people have been employed directly in the construction, and a 2009 economic impact study projected that the construction spending would generate as many as 900 more jobs through indirect and induced employment.