CMP’s Powering Maine Plan to Deliver Greater Reliability, Grid Resiliency and Clean Energy Access
Today, Central Maine Power (CMP) introduced the company’s new Powering Maine plan in a letter filed with the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC). CMP is proposing a three-year commitment to continue to improve the delivery of reliable power, support more efficient storm restoration response, reduce the impacts of outages on customers, offer more tools to customers to monitor and manage their energy usage, and enable greater adoption of renewable energy onto the grid.
“CMP must continue to make the smart system updates that improve reliability now and enable the company to successfully perform our role in helping Maine meet its climate change goals,” said Joseph Purington, president and CEO of CMP. “We know household budgets are being hit hard by higher prices across the board right now, and the Powering Maine plan strives to ensure that progress continues on improving the electric grid and meeting clean energy goals—some of which will minimize annual energy costs over time—while being mindful that this is a tough time for many Mainers.”
Under the Powering Maine proposal, CMP will add more automation to the system so that fewer customers are impacted by a single outage, install more durable poles and coated wire to better withstand the impacts of more volatile and intense storms created by climate change, initiate more comprehensive tree trimming practices, and build upon the smart meter system to introduce new free customer account management tools to help them control energy use and costs. Powering Maine will also address system needs to enable the connection of more clean energy.
The Powering Maine plan is intended to ensure rate predictability for customers over three years, making electricity delivery prices a more predictable component of Mainers’ total energy wallets as other fuel prices, including energy supply, potentially remain volatile. As proposed, for an average residential customer using 550 kWh /month the Powering Maine plan would add approximately $5.00 /month the first year, and about $2.50 or less in years two and three. Rates are proposed to go into effect in third quarter 2023.
CMP has operated under multi-year rate plans in the past that set performance targets tied to rates, providing predictability in rates and service expectations
“We plan to make important distribution system automation upgrades that allow us to minimize the number of customers impacted by each outage, enable faster power restoration, and continue to replace aging grid components like poles and wires,” added Purington. “Automation allows us to operate the grid remotely and to restore power more quickly to customers in many cases. Our plan would also leverage the current smart meter system to provide free new customer tools that offer real time communications and new pricing options for things like EV’s and battery technology.”
The Powering Maine plan also addresses upgrades needed to improve the resiliency of grid facilities like substations to prevent flooding and proposes more comprehensive tree-trimming practices, which is important since trees are the number one cause of outages in Maine.
CMP will develop further details of the Powering Maine plan over the next two months and file them with the MPUC over the summer.
“We want to shape the details of this plan by working with stakeholders in Maine’s energy community so that CMP is aligned with the priorities of our customers and communities,” added Purington.
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About CMP: Central Maine Power Company (CMP), a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., is Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility. Established in 1899 and based in Augusta, Maine, CMP serves approximately 646,000 customers across 346 communities in central and southern Maine. It operates approximately 23,500 miles of distribution lines and 2,900 miles of transmission lines. Over the last decade, the company has invested approximately $3.5 billion in Maine system infrastructure.
About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $40 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. AVANGRID employs more than 7,000 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021 and 2022 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2022, AVANGRID ranked second within the utility sector for its commitment to the environment and the communities it serves. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2022 for the fourth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.
About Iberdrola: Iberdrola is one of the world's biggest energy companies and a leader in renewables, spearheading the energy transition to a low carbon economy. The group supplies energy to almost 100 million people in dozens of countries. With a focus on renewable energy, smart networks and smart solutions for customers, Iberdrola’s main markets include Europe (Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy and Greece), the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. The company is also present in growth markets such as Japan, Taiwan, Ireland, Sweden and Poland, among others.
With a workforce of nearly 40,000 and assets in excess of €141.7 billion, across the world, Iberdrola helps to support 400,000 jobs across its supply chain, with annual procurement of €12.2 billion. A benchmark in the fight against climate change, Iberdrola has invested more than €130 billion over the past two decades to help build a sustainable energy model, based on sound environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.