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We deliver more than 9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity yearly to more than 600,000 retail electric customers in central and southern Maine
Our 11,000-square-mile service area is larger than the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined. It contains about 78% of Maine's population and major commercial and manufacturing centers.
We trace our origins to November 7, 1899. On that date the founding partners, attorney Harvey Eaton and engineer Walter Wyman, bought a hydroelectric generator providing street lighting and service to about 100 customers in the village of Oakland, Maine. They soon began a long program of developing new hydro sites, expanding their service area through interconnection and acquisitions, and lowering prices as unit costs fell. They began using the name Central Maine Power in 1910. In 1999, CMP delivered more than 9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity to more than 540,000 Maine homes, businesses, schools, churches, and other users.
As of December 31, 2008, our delivery system comprised 2,536 miles of overhead transmission lines, 23,249 pole-miles of distribution line, 1,290 miles of underground or submarine cable, and 282 substations for routing energy and regulating voltage. Our bulk power network connects with other electric systems at the New Hampshire and New Brunswick borders. Our facilities include regional service centers, garages, offices, and other property. Peak power demand on our system in 2008 was 1,580 megawatts. Our service-area operating revenues were $372 million in 2008. We employ approximately 1,200 people.
Over our first 99 years of operation, we built up an extensive generation system of hydroelectric, oil-fired, nuclear, and biomass generation, plus state-mandated contracts for substantial amounts of non-utility energy. Our legal obligation to arrange power supply for our customers ended March 1, 2000 under a utility restructuring policy put in place by the Maine Legislature. We continue to be responsible for operating and maintaining the transmission-and-distribution system, including functions like service connections, outage restoration, and system improvements and upgrades as required.