Central Maine Power Co. (CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, has completed work on a major project to increase capacity and improve reliability of the electric grid in the Saco Bay region. The utility energized the second of two new transmission lines serving the area last week. Crews will spend the next few weeks removing equipment from the area and completing environmental work in the affected transmission corridors.
“With this new system in place, we now have a more robust transmission network that will provide the best possible power quality and reliability to homes and businesses in Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Scarborough, and Biddeford,” said Joe Purington, CMP’s director of System Operations. “Along with providing good service today, the system has the capacity needed to serve growth in the area for many years to come.”
CMP began work on the $30 million Saco Bay Reinforcement Project in the fall of 2011 following a five-year review by state and local authorities. The project included construction of two new substations – the Goosefare Substation at the Saco Industrial Park was energized in March, and the Vallee Lane Substation off Smithwheel Road in Old Orchard Beach was put into service in August. The utility also built two, 7-mi transmission lines operating at 115 kV and 34.5 kV and made improvements at other substations in the area.
“We are building a stronger, smarter grid with the support of our parent company, Iberdrola USA,” says Purington. “We will invest nearly $500 million this year to improve our system, and projects like this one in Saco and elsewhere are creating thousands of construction jobs, while ensuring long-term grid reliability and capacity for growth.”