Friday, December 24, 2010

Power Line Construction in Maine Set to Add up to 1,000 New Jobs

Central Maine Power Company has selected three contractors to lead the transmission line construction of the company’s $1.4 billion Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP). The contracts, worth a total $524 million, were awarded to MYR Group, Inc., Irby Construction Co., and Hawkeye, LLC.
These contractors will share responsibility for the construction of nearly 440 miles of high voltage transmission lines as part of a project team of more than 150 consulting firms, contractors, and suppliers, including nearly 120 Maine-based companies. CMP plans to host a job fair for individuals, contractors, and suppliers in mid-January.
“We’re building a stronger, smarter grid for Maine,” said Sara Burns, president of Central Maine Power Company. “Nearly 1,000 people have worked on this project to date, and we expect as many as 1,000 jobs will be added in this next phase of construction. The Maine Power Reliability Program is creating jobs when Maine really needs them, and it ensures Maine will have an efficient, reliable grid with benefits for consumers and the environment long into the future.”
The Maine Power Reliability Program is the largest construction project ever undertaken in Maine. A 2009 study of the economic impacts of the project by the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Southern Maine estimated that direct employment on the project could spur as many as 800 more jobs in indirect employment. Signs of these indirect benefits have already spread quickly to communities along the transmission route as local businesses began catering to the workers preparing transmission corridors for construction.
CMP’s Maine Power Reliability Program includes the construction of five new 345-kilovolt substations and related facilities linked by approximately 440 miles of new transmission lines. The company broke ground on the project in September after a two-year review by local, state, and federal agencies. The lines run through 75 cities and towns from Eliot to Orrington, providing reinforcement for the company’s 40-year-old system and creating greater capacity for the integration of new generation in the New England region. The company expects to complete the project by mid-2015.
“While the MPRP is first and foremost a reliability investment, it’s also part of a broader strategy to add transmission capacity, improve efficiency, and integrate new technologies in our system,” said Burns. “With the support of our parent company Iberdrola, we’re making investments in Maine’s infrastructure that will produce enormous benefits for consumers and the environment.”
CMP expects the new contractors to start work soon, beginning with an effort to find local subcontractors and employees to fill out their workforce. CMP has scheduled a daylong MPRP Business and Employment Expo to be held at the Augusta Civic Center on Tuesday, January 18, 2011.