Central Maine Power has received $30 million from the federal government to install equipment intended to help reduce the frequency and impact of power outages following storms.

Increased threats from climate change are part of the motivation for CMP to strengthen Maine’s electrical system, President and CEO Joe Purington said in the utility’s announcement on Wednesday. The company has been hardening its network – installing thicker wire and higher poles and trimming trees more aggressively – as part of a 10-year plan to improve reliability.

Funding from the Department of Energy will help CMP purchase 300 automated devices that will help improve electrical system visibility for grid operators, allowing for a quick rebalancing of the electrical system with autonomous controls using data analytics, software and sensors.

The equipment, which Adam Desrosiers, vice president of electric operations at CMP, likened to a home circuit breaker, will be installed on roadside poles and wires. The devices communicate with CMP’s energy control center in Augusta and with each other, he said.

CMP is looking to eventually install 2,000 of the devices over the next five to 10 years, Desrosiers said.

Funding from the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be used to restore power more quickly in disadvantaged communities. The Biden administration says a disadvantaged community is an area identified by environmental, climate or other burdens and an “associated socio-economic burden.”

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.