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Central Maine Power Co. (CMP), a subsidiary of Energy East Corp., has launched its Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP), an initiative to ensure the continued reliability of its bulk power transmission system, which includes 475 miles of 345 kV lines plus substations and control facilities that link New Brunswick to New Hampshire and southern New England.

By late 2007, CMP expects to have completed a comprehensive study of the region's power needs and electrical infrastructure as the first step in the MPRP, the company says. It is preparing the study in cooperation with the Independent System Operator for New England, which oversees the regional electric energy market.

"The transmission lines that make up the backbone of our system were built in the early 1970s," says Sara Burns, CMP's president. "What we built nearly 40 years ago has served us well, but it's our responsibility to modernize our system and keep ahead of growing demand."

The study will lay the groundwork for developing a multi-year plan for system enhancements, the companies say. It will include a 10-year load forecast for Maine and the surrounding region, an evaluation of the performance of the existing bulk power system in accordance with regional and national reliability standards, and an assessment of alternatives for keeping Maine's system in compliance under future operating scenarios and identifying the most cost-effective alternatives to reinforce the system's reliability and capacity.

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