BENTON — Central Maine Power Co. will be moving a 286-ton electrical power transformer on Monday from a cargo terminal in Searsport to the company’s new substation on Albion Road in Benton.

The transformer will make the 45-mile trip to Benton on a 16-axle tractor-trailer rig with a state police escort beginning at 6 a.m. Monday.

The substation arrived in Searsport on Wednesday following a three-month sea voyage from Taiwan. It is 15 feet high, 13 feet wide and 38 feet long, according to company spokeswoman Gail Rice.

The truck will travel south on U.S. Route 1 in Searsport into Belfast, north on Route 141 to Swanville then west on Route 131 to Waldo. From there, it will continue west on Route 137 though Knox and Unity to Freedom, south on U.S. Route 202 to Albion, and finally west on Benton Road to Albion Road in Benton.

The trip is expected to take longer than eight hours and the schedule might change without notice, according to Rice.

The unit, which will spend the weekend at Mack Point Marine Cargo Terminal in Searsport, is part of the company’s Maine Power Reliability Program.

The program is a $1.4 billion investment in Maine’s bulk power transmission system, according to Rice. The five-year project includes the construction of six new 345,000-volt substations, upgrades to more than 40 existing substations and the installation or rebuilding of nearly 440 miles of transmission line in 75 communities from Eliot to Orrington.

The Albion Road substation transformer is among the largest units in the Central Maine Power system. Transformers are used to raise or lower voltage on electrical systems, according to Rice.

The Albion Road transformer will step down transmission line voltage from 345,000 volts to 115,000 volts to supply the electrical grid for communities in Franklin, Kennebec, Piscataquis, Somerset and Waldo counties.

Central Maine Power, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution company, serving more than 600,000 customers.

Iberdrola USA, a subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A., is an energy services and delivery company with more than 2.4 million customers in upstate New York and New England.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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