CMP puts October storm cost at $69M, Emera Maine at $8.6M

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
October 2017 file photo following the wind storm that left thousands of Mainers without power. Central Maine Power and Emera Maine have filed estimates of their total costs in restoring power following the storm.
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“Damage occurred on nearly every distribution circuit, resulting in more than 1,400 broken poles,” wrote CMP vice president Eric Stinneford.
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Central Maine Power said it cost the company about $69 million to restore power after the October 2017 wind storm, while Emera Maine put its total cost at $8.6 million.

The figures were released Thursday in response to an investigation by the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

“Damage occurred on nearly every distribution circuit, resulting in more than 1,400 broken poles,” Eric Stinneford, CMP’s vice president, treasurer, controller and clerk, wrote to the PUC.

Of the total cost, about $32 million went to replacing damaged infrastructure, including poles, cross arms, transformers and related equipment. Additionally, $320,000 was allocated for repairing CMP transmission facilities.

CMP noted that final invoicing for the storm still is not complete, and the cost figures may be revised later.

The company has a $10 million storm reserve fund that will be applied to the costs, and CMP will pay $2 million of the costs out of its own coffers. CMP estimates it seek to recover $27 million via electricity rates.

Stinneford said CMP owes $14 million to customers, which would offset any rate increase resulting from the storm costs.

CMP also said the company expects cost reductions from the federal 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act to help offset any impact to customer bills.

Meanwhile, Emera regulatory counsel Sarah Spruce wrote that her company will seek to recover $7.3 million in storm costs from customers. Like CMP, it had to repair broken poles, transformers and wires downed by trees.

CMP had more than 3,300 workers involved in restoration, while Emera had 690.

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Correction: The storm cost figures and number of workers involved in CMP restoration have been updated.


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