AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Central Maine Power Co. has energized a substation with a 345,000-volt transformer, the first major part of a $1.4 billion transmission system upgrade to come online.
The $57 million substation, which was powered up Thursday, is one of four that are part of the power grid improvements. The transformer will step down the 345-kilowatt voltage to supply the electrical grid in Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, and Sagadahoc counties.
The Maine Power Reliability Program aims to double the capacity of the backbone of the state's power grid by 2015. All told, there will be 440 miles of new transmission lines in addition to the new substations.
CMP and its parent company, Iberdrola USA, are spending more than $500 million on the upgrades. The remainder is funded through federal stimulus money.