Governor Joins Iberdrola and Central Maine Power for Launch of Major Projects and Partnership Announcement with University of Maine

September 28, 2010

PORTLAND – Governor John E. Baldacci today joined Iberdrola Group Chairman Ignacio Galán and Central Maine Power (CMP) officials to launch a number of projects vital to Maine’s energy future.

“CMP is a valuable corporate partner in Maine,” said Governor Baldacci. “The commitment of CMP’s parent company, Iberdrola, to invest in critical infrastructure and research in new energy technology is essential to Maine’s economy and preserving our quality of life. Maine ratepayers will benefit and thousands of jobs are being created as a result of the investments we are talking about today.”

Iberdrola broke ground today on the Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP), a $1.4 billion transmission project to upgrade the capacity of its electrical grid. The project includes construction of substations and about 450 miles of new or rebuilt transmission lines. According to Iberdrola, the project will support approximately 2,000 jobs a year during the construction phase.

“Maine is rapidly becoming a recognized leader in renewable energy development, including wind power,” said Governor Baldacci. “We’ve moved aggressively in the State to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel, to develop domestic energy resources, and to encourage conservation and energy efficiency through investments in new technology. We need a reliable and effective infrastructure to harness and move this power.”

Iberdrola also began installation of more than 600,000 new smart grid electrical meters today. The project received $96 million in federal Recovery Act funds to support the upgrade in equipment, which will wirelessly transmit information to CMP and CMP customers regarding energy usage. The technology holds the promise of better management of energy use.

At a South Gorham substation, the Governor met with Chairman Galán and University of Maine President Robert Kennedy for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Iberdrola and the University. The MOU establishes education initiatives focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Iberdrola will provide financial support to assist the university in maintaining graduate level student research in energy technology.

“Iberdrola’s investments will provide the infrastructure and technology to help Maine meet its energy goals,” said Governor Baldacci. “Iberdrola and CMP are good corporate citizens and working in partnership we can help to implement innovations that will benefit Maine residents and businesses for years to come.”