Central Maine Power Co. energized a new substation in Leeds, Maine this month that will mean better service for area customers and more capacity for the electric grid in Leeds and surrounding communities. Construction on the $5 million substation began last October, and crews energized two new distribution circuits out of the Fish Street station on April 25.

“The Leeds Substation will improve power quality and reliability for homes and businesses in several communities north of Lewiston and Auburn,” said Sara Burns, CMP’s president and chief executive officer. “The substation gives us a more robust transmission and distribution network in the area, and it provides extra capacity to serve the growth in the region.”

Located near the intersection of Fish Street and State Route 219, the substation provides a local power source for communities that had formerly depended on roadside distribution lines fed by substations several towns away. Extended roadside lines are more vulnerable to common sources of power interruption such as contact with trees, small animals, and vehicle accidents. Shifting local customers to the new Leeds substation also leaves more capacity in the region’s other substations for growth.

“With the support of our parent company Iberdrola USA, CMP invested more than $500 million last year building a stronger, smarter grid for Maine,” said Burns. “We will spend almost as much again in 2012. CMP’s investments in Leeds and elsewhere are creating thousands of construction jobs, while ensuring long-term grid reliability and capacity for growth.”