CHINA — Central Maine Power has started work on a new electrical substation and energy grid that will replace an older system to serve the increasing population better, the utility company said in a news release Thursday.

CMP is spending $5.4 million on the project, which will affect homes and businesses in Palermo, Windsor, Liberty, Freedom, Vassalboro and China, according to the release.

A substation is a part of an electrical generation, transmission and distribution system that transforms voltage levels, among other things.

Growth, both residential and commercial, in the communities created a need for a newer system with more power to serve the larger population, CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice said in the news release.

“These upgrades will allow us to keep providing safe, reliable service many years into the future,” she said.

The new substation will be on a 1.6-acre lot on Route 3 across from the South China post office. CMP will add a second distribution circuit to make service more reliable and give CMP more operating flexibility.

The existing substation, which is in South China on Windsor Road, will be taken out of service once the new substation is up and running.

The project is part of an estimated $40 million that CMP plans to invest in the energy grid this year, according to the release.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour