Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS
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CMP to Begin Aerial Inspections of Transmission Lines
AUGUSTA, Maine, May 16, 2012 — Central Maine Power Co. (CMP), a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is about to begin its spring inspections of its transmission lines by helicopter. 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.”
In addition to the annual spring inspection of its entire transmission system, CMP also flies over more than 600 miles of transmission lines each fall using a helicopter equipped with infrared thermal imaging 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.
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About Central Maine Power Company (CMP): Central Maine Power Company, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility. The company delivers about 9 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually to more than 600,000 homes and businesses, representing about 80% of Maine’s annual consumer sales of electricity. The company has been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction six times by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit www.cmpco.com/.
About Iberdrola USA: Iberdrola USA, a subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A., is an energy services and delivery company serving more than 2.4 million customers in upstate New York and New England. For more information about Iberdrola USA, visit www.iberdrolausa.com.