March 4, 2013

CMP completes $4 million substation upgrade in Manchester

By Keith Edwards kedwards@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

MANCHESTER — A recently completed $4 million upgrade to a substation on Puddledock Road will bring electricity to more than 3,600 homes and businesses in nine local towns more reliably, according to Central Maine Power.

The upgrades will also allow CMP workers to monitor and adjust the substation remotely from the company’s energy control system in Augusta, CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice said Monday.

“It’s state-of-the-art equipment. We can monitor what the system is doing, voltages, and just know exactly what the system is doing, when it’s doing it,” Rice said. “If it needs to be adjusted, it can be done remotely. If we see something that looks amiss, we can work more quickly and efficiently to fix it.”

The Puddledock substation was put back in service Feb. 26 following a months-long upgrade that began last year. During construction, a mobile substation moved to the site by CMP took the place of the substation, allowing work to take place without interrupting the flow of power to customers.

The substation sends power to 3,600 homes and businesses in Belgrade, Chesterville, Fayette, Manchester, Mount Vernon, Readfield, Rome, Vienna and Winthrop.

Rice said the improvements make the substation ready to safely and efficiently serve the area for several decades. New equipment installed included breakers, switches, and new protection and control technology that integrates with the company’s system controls to allow remote monitoring and maintenance.

“The substation had served customers well for a number of years, but some equipment there dated to the 1970s, so it was due for replacement,” Rice said. “It’s part of the overall preventative maintenance program, to keep everything working as it should. It should provide customers with higher quality power, more reliable power. It’s new equipment, so it should work more reliably.”

The substation work was not part of CMP’s ongoing Maine Power Reliability Program. The substation is the first one that is not part of that program to get the new technology integrated with the company’s system controls.

The Puddledock station has a single transformer that steps the 115,000-volt current down to 34,500 volts, and sends it into a distribution circuit, according to CMP.

The work, Rice said, is part of CMP’s plan to invest nearly $400 million to expand and modernize its system in 2013.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647
kedwards@centralmaine.com

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