BANGOR, Maine — In one bright spot in the economic gloom, the company that helps to light up Maine is adding new personnel.
“We’re actually growing, which is really good news,” Susan Faloon of Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. said Thursday.
Bangor Hydro hired Robert Lysaght as its new vice president of human services to develop and implement the company’s human resources strategic vision. The company also added another lawyer to its roster: Michael Clisham, who most recently worked at Eaton Peabody in Bangor, will help negotiate contracts and work on land use matters.
The new employees are coming on board at a time when the company is focusing on improving its power transmission system, according to Faloon.
“The infrastructure is aging,” she said. “It’s not considered adequate to be reliable in the future, or to be able to accommodate load growth.”
Bangor Hydro delivers power to 192,000 people in eastern and Down East Maine. It belongs to the New England Power Pool and is connected to other New England utilities and the New Brunswick Power Corp.
The company no longer generates its own power, because of the restructuring of the electric utility industry in the state about 10 years ago. In 2001, the company was bought by Canada’s Emera Inc., the parent company of Nova Scotia Power.
Faloon said that the company’s next large project is the Northeast Energy Link, which is now in early planning stages.
“That’s going to make the system more reliable,” she said.
The project, estimated to cost about $2 billion, will be a transmission line going from New Brunswick to Boston. It will connect at Bangor Hydro’s Orrington substation.
“There are different types of energy being used in Canada that aren’t necessarily used in Maine,” Faloon said. “The line will bring in tidal and wind power from Canada.”
Bangor Hydro is also working closely with the University of Maine as students work to develop cheaper, more efficient heat pump technology.
“Our goal is to be an energy solutions provider,” Faloon said.