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Officials at Central Maine Power Co. (CMP) and Maine Public Service Co. (MPS), a subsidiary of Maine & Maritimes Corp., have requested that the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) defer further action in the Maine Power Connection (MPC) case for 90 days while it considers various options for formulating the transmission line project.

MPS and CMP (the project sponsors) originally requested authorization on July 1, 2008, to build a 200-mile, 345 kV transmission line and related substations to enable development of wind generation projects and connect northern Maine to the New England electricity transmission grid.

Based on recent developments and preliminary system-impact studies results, the project sponsors are now considering several alternatives, which include revisiting the physical scope of the MPC project and pursuing alternatives to the market efficiency transmission upgrade model that might include a participant-funded approach, such as has recently been proposed by Northeast Utilities and NSTAR.

The project sponsors intend to file a report with the MPUC on or before March 31.

In addition, Aroostook Wind Energy LLC (AWE), a developer of a wind energy project expected to interconnect to the MPC transmission line, filed a letter with the MPUC, reporting that AWE wished to stop further system-impact studies associated with its interconnection request and indicating that changes in the wholesale power market have rendered it uneconomic for the company to invest in transmission infrastructure. However, the letter also states that AWE intends to continue its efforts to develop a wind generating facility in Maine.

SOURCE: Maine & Maritimes Corp.

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