CMP: Construction of all MPRP components approved by Maine PUC ‘essentially complete’

Central Maine Power (CMP), in its Jan. 11 quarterly progress report for its Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP) filed with Maine state regulators, said that its total accrued MPRP costs through the end of November 2015 are about $1.36bn.

CMP said that costs incurred by the program to date are:

  • About $301.4m in CMP permitting/land/legal/project management
  • About $1.1bn in CMP engineering and construction
  • About $11m in Maine Electric Power Company’s (MEPCO) cost for the MPRP through November 2015
  • About $27.1m in Emera’s cost for the MPRP through November 2015

The total CMP, MEPCO and Emera MPRP costs through November 2015 are about $1.39bn.

CMP also said that Public Service Company of New Hampshire’s (PSNH) accrued costs for the completed Eliot switching station totaled about $24.2m, and those costs are not included in the MPRP costs that CMP listed in its progress report.

CMP noted that a March 2012 Maine Public Utilities Commission order that approved the certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) for the Eliot substation, required that PSNH, which operates under the Eversource Energy (NYSE:ES) brand, submit a quarterly MPRP progress report for the construction of that substation. The quarterly report for PSNH has been consolidated within CMP’s quarterly report, CMP said.

“With construction of all MPRP components approved … essentially complete, CMP has met the … requirement to file quarterly construction status reports,” CMP said. “Consequently, this is the company’s final report to be submitted.”

Discussing the status of approvals, CMP said that during 4Q15, the Lewiston Planning Board approved a development review application for proposed project scope changes as part of the Lewiston Loop Project. Also, the MPRP submitted an application to amend the conditional use permit associated with the proposed Middle Street substation.

Of the Lewiston Loop portion of the MPRP, CMP added that contracts have been awarded for, among other things, the overhead transmission line construction, major substation materials supply, tubular steel pole supply, wood pole supply, substation design, as well as substation testing and commissioning. Bids have been submitted for the Middle Street construction package and for the supply of the Middle Street modular building, CMP said, adding that final negotiations are underway for the underground transmission line cable supply/installation contract.

CMP also said that it has entered into 47 agreements for the MPRP project, excluding the Lewiston Loop. Of the 47, 37 have closed, CMP said, noting that five contracts will carry over into 2016: CPM Constructors, Southwire, EPS, Burns & McDonnell and Willis (insurance).

Regarding the Lewiston Loop portion, CMP said that four more contracts have been entered since last quarter, bringing the total to 23. Out of those 23, two are for construction, 15 are for material supply and six are service agreements, CMP added.

Of T-Line construction, CMP said that the three major contractors, MYR, Irby and Willbros are 100% complete with their MPRP scope of construction work; only right of way (ROW) restoration and contract closeout activities remain.

Discussing the status of substation construction, CMP said that during 4Q15, relay upgrades were completed at several remote end sites. The major substation contractors, Cianbro and ESB, are 100% complete with their MPRP scope of construction work; only contract closeout activities remain, the company said.

The MPRP real estate team has acquired 844 of 846 program parcels required for the substations and the transmission line corridors, CMP said. The total includes parcels associated with MEPCO Sections 388 and 392 as well as the Lewiston Loop, but excludes guying or off-ROW access road easements, the company said.

CMP said that based on its latest assessment, the number of people that have worked on the MPRP has exceeded 3,300. Of the 391 suppliers, contractors and subcontractors on project record, 269 are headquartered or have offices in Maine, CMP said, adding that the MPRP is currently estimated to increase the Maine gross domestic product by $284m, provide $242m in wages and salaries, and generate $25m in income and sales tax revenue for Maine.

CMP further noted that the project is estimated to generate $25m per year in new property taxes, $23m of which will be paid by ratepayers outside the state. CMP said that 8% of the $1.4bn estimated project cost would be paid by Maine ratepayers, with the remaining 92% to be paid by ratepayers outside of Maine.

CMP is a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, which is a subsidiary of Iberdrola S.A.

As noted on CMP’s website, MEPCO owns and operates a 345-kV transmission interconnection between Wiscasset, Maine, and the Maine-New Brunswick international border at Orient, Maine, where it interconnects with New Brunswick Power’s facilities in New Brunswick, Canada. CMP owns 78.3% of MEPCO’s common stock, and the remaining ownership is held by Bangor Hydro Electric and Maine Public Service.

As noted on Emera’s website, Emera Maine, which is wholly owned by Emera, is the new name for Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Service.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3293 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 16 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.