AUGUSTA – The October windstorm knocked out power to half a million Mainers and a $200 million smart-meter network that aimed to improve outage communications and storm recovery.

Maine Public reported that Central Maine Power representatives say the meters accurately charted the climb in outages until they flatlined midday.

CMP spokesman John Carroll said the storm took down radio transmitters for wireless smart-grids components installed at the top of poles. A federal grant covered roughly half of the grid with customers funding the other half.

CMP CEO Sara Burns said the inability to “ping” meters didn’t slow the company’s storm response. The system is 100 percent functional today.

However, Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, called it a “colossal system failure” leaving taxpayers responsible for cleanup costs.

Lawmakers and utility regulators plan to investigate the storm response.


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