news room

CMP News

Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS 

Corporate Communications - 

Release: Immediate - An Energy East Company


CMP moves huge transformer to South Gorham Substation site


AUGUSTA, ME – Sept. 28, 2009 – Another milestone was reached early this morning in a major project to upgrade southern Maine’s electric grid, as Central Maine Power Company (CMP) contractors moved a massive auto-transformer to the Company’s South Gorham Substation on Straw Road. The South Gorham Substation provides critical support for the electrical grid serving the Greater Portland region.

“Getting the new auto-transformer on site is a major step in enhancing the capacity and reliability of our service in southern Maine,” said CMP spokesman John Carroll. “This station will be unique in CMP’s system as the only site with two transformers of this size and rating. They are designed to operate in tandem or separately, which gives us new capacity and enhanced reliability.”

Engineering and design work on the $30 million project began in January 2009, and crews broke ground at the South Gorham site this spring. Along with installing the new autotransformer, crews are expanding the control house and putting in additional equipment that will allow the facility to accommodate additional transmission lines, should they be needed.

The transformer, with a shipping weight of 267 tons, had been making its way from Mexico to Maine via Canada by rail over the past several weeks. A 12-axle, self-propelled over-the-road transporter moved the equipment from Westbrook to Gorham during the early-morning hours Sunday. Once it is fully assembled, installed, and filled with oil, the transformer will weigh 448 tons. The unit will be connected to the company’s 345,000 volt bulk power transmission lines. It steps the voltage down to 115,000 volts to feed the transmission lines that fan out to feed lower voltage substations throughout York and Cumberland counties. These substations feed local roadside distribution lines to homes and businesses.

CMP expects to complete work at the South Gorham substation in 2010.


Click here for a fact sheet on the auto-transformer and shipping equipment used to get it to the South Gorham Substation.




 The auto-transformer arrives via rail car at Pike Industries in Westbrook on Saturday. Click here for high-resolution version. The rail car, which carried the auto-transformer more than 3,000 miles, is 105 feet long and one of only two such rail cars in the U.S. Click here for high-resolution version. Contractors for CMP maneuver the auto-transformer around utility lines on its way to the South Gorham Substation. Note that each of the 12 axles on the transporter move independently. Click here for high-resolution version.


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:

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. The company has since September 2008 been part of the Spain-based Iberdrola Group, the world's fifth largest utility and number one in wind power.