Central Maine Power Company (CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, marked a milestone in its Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP) this month as construction crews set the 2,000th transmission structure in Lewiston, Maine. The company will erect more than 5,000 structures by the time the project is completed in 2015.

“We are building a stronger, smarter grid for Maine,” said Doug Herling, vice president of Special Projects at CMP. “The MPRP will enhance reliability and increase capacity in the lines that serve as the backbone of our grid, and the integration of new protection and controls technology will give Maine a state-of-the-art transmission system.”

The 2,000th structure was set by crews from Irby Construction working for CMP at a site near Old Webster Road in Lewiston. The 120-ft, weathering-steel structure supports a 345-kV transmission line.

Begun in September of 2010, the MPRP is the largest construction project ever undertaken in Maine. It includes the construction of five new 345-kV substations and related facilities linked by approximately 440 mi of new transmission lines. The project will reinforce the company’s 40-year-old system and increase capacity for the integration of new generation in the New England region.

CMP estimates that nearly 2,700 people are directly involved in construction on the Maine Power Reliability Program. A study of the economic impacts of the project by the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Southern Maine estimated it could spur as many as 800 more jobs through indirect and induced employment.