Iberdrola to upgrade Maine grid with autotransformer

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Rochester, N.Y., May 3, 2012 — Central Maine Power Co., the local unit of Iberdrola USA, will install a 345,000-volt autotransformer at Lewiston, Maine later this month. The installation marks further progress on the company's $1.4 billion Maine Power Reliability Program.

Iberdrola's investment in Maine's bulk power system will double CMP's high voltage substation capacity and increase transmission capacity for the integration of new generation in the New England region. The 5-year construction plan is considered the largest construction project in Maine history.

The $58 million Lewiston substation autotransformer, which weighs one million pounds, will step down 345,000-volt current to feed the 115,000-volt transmission network that supplies power to the central Maine region.

The transformer is expected to reach the Port of Portland via ship in mid-May and will be moved by rail to the Lewiston site soon after. Work is also underway to build approximately 440 miles of transmission lines linking new autotransformers at three other sites, plus related improvements at more than three dozen other substations in CMP's system.

Work on the project has created about 2,700 jobs among more than 350 companies providing construction services, consulting, and supplies. A 2009 study of the project's economic impact for Maine predicted it would generate as many as one-third additional jobs through indirect and induced employment effects.

CMP expects to complete MPRP construction in mid-2015.

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