Cumberland board approves CMP substation on Greely Road

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CUMBERLAND — The Planning Board has granted major site plan approval for a Central Maine Power Co. transmission substation.

Construction of a temporary entrance road for the Raven Farm Substation at 37 Greely Road should begin soon, Town Planner Carla Nixon said last week.

“They want to get started as soon as possible,” she said. “They have their contractors all hired (and) ready to go.”

The entire substation site is about 74.4 acres, but the actual area to be disturbed is about 25.5 acres, according to a Jan. 12 memo from Nixon to the Planning Board. The graded site will cover about 15.4 acres.

The area to be developed will have an 8-foot-tall galvanized metal chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. The 8.6-acre fenced yard area will include the electrical substation infrastucture, along with a 40-foot by 90-foot one-story building, storm-water management structures, a potable well and a waste-water holding tank placed underground.

The control house will be 900 feet from Greely Road and 600 feet from the nearest property line.

The unfenced graded area will have two structures that will support two existing transmission lines.

CMP, which has Maine Department of Environmental Protection approval for the project, still needs a building permit, Nixon said.

The company also plans to build a new transmission line from Pownal to Cumberland. The local permitting review process of that piece of the project has been delayed until the Maine Public Utilities Commission grants final approval.

That proposal is part of a $1.4 billion plan to modernize CMP’s 40-year-old bulk power system.

Since he works for Iberdrola USA, CMP’s parent company, board member Peter Bingham abstained from the board discussion and vote on Jan. 26; the other six members voted in favor of the substation.

The board also elected Chris Neagle as chairman and John Ferland as vice chairman.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.