Central Maine Power Company (CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, began work on a new electric transmission line between Portland and Westbrook, Maine. The $3 million project will replace an existing 3.5-mi line between a substation near Morrill's Corner in Portland and another substation near Prides Corner in Westbrook. The work is part of a plan by the company to invest nearly $400 million in 2013 to expand and modernize its system.

“Some of this equipment has been in place since the 1920s,” said John Carroll, CMP spokesperson. “It has a long life-span, but not infinite. The new line will ensure continued reliability and provide transmission system capacity to meet growing demand in this part of the city.”

The company will build the new line along the centerline of the existing corridor using slightly taller wood poles and higher capacity conductors. The line will continue to operate at 34.5 V, although it is designed to operate at higher voltage if more capacity is needed in the future. Work began to clear tree growth back to the edges of the corridor and establish temporary access roads for construction vehicles. The existing transmission line will be taken out of service in early March at which time crews will begin removing the existing line to make way for new poles, conductors and guy wires. Once the construction is complete, CMP will stabilize any disturbed soils and restore the groundcover in the corridor. CMP expects to energize the new line and complete all work in the corridor by the end of May.