CMP Wins $30M Smart Grid Technology Grant

Established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, grant will enhance grid flexibility and improve the resilience of Maine’s power grid against growing threats of extreme weather 

AUGUSTA, ME — October 18, 2023 — On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Deployment Office announced that Central Maine Power (CMP) had secured a $30 million grant, awarded under the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program. Established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the grant will allow CMP to accelerate the deployment of smart grid technologies to help reduce the frequency and impact of power outages.   

The new technology will include advanced grid restoration (AGR) and sequential reclosing (SR). These innovative, “self-healing” technologies are designed to reduce the frequency and impact of outages. The grant will also allow deployment of the distribution supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) switch program to help prevent system faults, particularly to disadvantaged communities. 

“As Mainers continue to change the way they use electricity, CMP is committed to strengthening our state’s electrical system so it can handle increased threats from climate change. At the same time, we are transforming our grid to continue supporting Maine’s significant economic growth, new distributed resources like solar power, and electrification,” said Joe Purington, President & CEO of Central Maine Power. “Our work to build a strong, modern, and clean electric grid is for our customers, and I want to thank the Department of Energy for selecting our talented team for this grant award.”

“Extreme weather events fueled by climate change will continue to strain the nation’s aging transmission systems, but President Biden’s Investing in America agenda will ensure America’s power grid can provide reliable, affordable power,” said U.S Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today’s announcement represents the largest-ever direct investment in critical grid infrastructure, supporting projects that will harden systems, improve energy reliability and affordability—all while generating union jobs for highly skilled workers.”   

This grant will increase the flexibility, efficiency, reliability, and resilience of CMP’s electric grid while ensuring a variety of community-level benefits, especially for disadvantaged communities. Specifically, it will: 

•    Increase system reliability 
•    Enhance ability to identify faults and minimize outages
•    Mitigate impacts of extreme weather or natural disasters
•    Aggregate and integrate energy resources like solar
•    Create up to 100 jobs across a variety of sectors during the project’s duration

CMP is appreciative of the support from the Maine Development Foundation, the Governor’s Energy Office, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Central Maine Growth Council, Kennebec Valley Community College, and the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce during the grant application process. 

To view the Department of Energy press release, click here

For more information on CMP’s grant award, click here.

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