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January 3, 2018

CMP puts October storm cost above $15M

Central Maine Power Co. estimates the costs of the late-October wind storm at above $15 million in a preliminary estimate.

The storm, which hit on Oct. 29, left roughly 500,000 Mainers statewide without power. Of that total, 404,000 were CMP customers at the peak of the storm, according to a Nov. 1 news release reporting on the utility's power restoration efforts.

Eric Stinneford, CMP's vice president, treasurer, controller and clerk, said in a Jan. 2 letter to the administrative director of the Maine Public Utilities Commission that the "devastating wind and rain storm event" resulted in the greatest number of customer outages in CMP's history, impacting nearly two-thirds of its customers.

"Although final invoicing for restoration costs is not yet complete, the current projection of incremental distribution restoration costs … indicates that the total incremental costs for the event will clearly exceed" $15 million, Stinneford wrote to Harry Lanphear of PUC in Augusta.

In its report about Stinneford's letter, the Bangor Daily News noted that CMP has a $10 million reserve fund, established in 2014 by raising electricity rates for customers. That consists of $6 million set aside to cover costs resulting from larger storms and $4 million for smaller storms.

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