Central Maine Power Co. (CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is set to take delivery of a 345-kV autotransformer for a substation in Lewiston, Maine as part of the company’s $1.4 billion Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP). The 285-ton autotransformer arrived by ship in Portland Harbor Saturday, May 12, and was carried by train to a rail siding in Greene, Maine on Wednesday. It will make the final, 6-mi trip from Greene to the site of a $58-million substation. A special heavy-haul trailer measuring nearly 180 ft in length will make the journey in about two hours to the substation.

“The Larrabee Road Substation will supply a wide network of transmission lines in central Maine,” said Douglas Herling, CMP’s vice president for special projects. “We’re building a stronger, smarter grid to ensure long-term reliability and increased capacity in the transmission system and to provide better access to New England energy markets for renewable generation projects in the Maine.”

Central Maine Power Company’s MPRP is a $1.4 billion investment in Maine’s bulk power transmission system. The 5-year project includes the construction of four new 345-kV substations, one 345-kV switchyard, upgrades to more than 40 existing substations, and the installation or rebuilding of nearly 440 mi of transmission line in 75 communities from Eliot to Orrington.

The Larrabee Road Substation autotransformer, scheduled to go on line in late 2012, is among the largest units in the Central Maine Power system. Transformers are used to raise or lower voltage on electrical systems. The Larrabee Road autotransformer will step down transmission line voltage from 345 kV to 115 kV to power the grid serving Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, and Sagadahoc counties.

The MPRP has provided a timely stimulus to the Maine economy, employing nearly 2,700 workers among contractors, consultants and suppliers, plus as many as 900 more jobs through indirect and induced employment spurred by the construction spending.

Iberdrola, USA is the U.S. subsidiary of Iberdrola, a global energy company based in Spain. The chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán visited the Lewiston site in early May during the final stages of preparation for the delivery of the autotransformer. With the support of Iberdrola and Iberdrola USA, CMP invested more than $500 million in its Maine facilities in 2011, and the company expects to invest about $470 million in 2012.