Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS
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Release: Immediate - An Energy East Company
CMP ready to wrap up aerial inspections of transmission lines
AUGUSTA, Maine, June 19, 2009 — Central Maine Power Co. (CMP) is completing its spring inspections of its transmission lines by helicopter this month. The flights are an important part of the utility’s annual inspection program to ensure safe, reliable delivery of power to homes and businesses throughout its service area.
Each spring, CMP does a visual inspection of all of its transmission rights-of-way from the air. These flights help spot potential problems with equipment, as well as signs of unauthorized use.
“When people encroach on our rights-of-ways with heavy equipment during logging and other operations, it poses a threat to both system reliability and public safety,” says CMP spokesman John Carroll. “We also have had problems with people using our rights of way to dispose of old appliances, building materials, and cars, and even for ATV ‘mud runs.’ This unauthorized use is bad for the environment, and unfair to people who live nearby who should be able to enjoy some peace and quiet around their homes.”
The utility also inspects more than 600 miles of transmission lines each fall using a helicopter equipped with infrared equipment to detect “hot spots” that might need attention.
“Our lines are exposed to the weather all the time, and extreme temperatures and precipitation can take their toll on switches, clamps, insulators, and other equipment,” says Carroll. “These devices often heat up if there’s been minor damage or wear, so inspecting the lines with infrared equipment lets us find and fix problems before they cause a power outage.”
CMP owns nearly 2,200 miles of transmission line. It inspects the complete system on a four-year rotating schedule. The utility also does aerial patrols when its Dispatch Center detects an abnormality such as a momentary outage from a lightning strike or a change in voltage.
About CMP: Central Maine Power, a subsidiary of Energy East Corporation, operates more than 25,000 miles of power lines and other facilities that deliver electricity to 80 percent of Maine’s population. Web site: www.cmpco.com.
About Energy East: Energy East Corporation is a respected, super-regional energy services and delivery company serving about 3 million customers throughout upstate New York and New England. By providing outstanding customer service and meeting customers’ energy requirements in an environmentally responsible manner, Energy East will continue to be a valuable asset to the communities we serve.
— CMP —