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East Wilton substation approved, construction planned to begin next month

The Wilton Planning Board votes to approve a site review application for an East Wilton Central Maine Power substation Thursday evening.

WILTON - The Planning Board unanimously approved a site plan application for a Central Maine Power substation on Main Street Thursday evening, paving the way for construction to begin next month.

The substation project would serve as a replacement for the existing substation on the Temple Road, as that facility cannot handle the infrastructural improvements required to run modern equipment. Issues at the present site include its small size and the foundation, which is wood instead of concrete, as well as transformers that date back to the 1950s. The new, 34.5 kV substation would be located at 1228 Main Street, tapping into a preexisting transmission line. Planners told the board that the new substation would improve the reliability of the local system.

The substation project is completely unrelated to the proposed New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line, instead allowing for the delivery of electricity to Wilton and the surrounding area.

The Main Street lot in East Wilton is 5.3 acres in size. The new site would consist of a crushed stone yard, 160 by 140 feet, surrounded by an eight-foot-tall chain link fence, roughly 90 feet back from the edge of the roadway. Within the fence would be the transformers, as well as space for a mobile transformer should one be necessary during an outage, and a single-story control building. The location would be unmanned and monitored with fire alarms, heat sensors and security cameras. There would be monthly, visual checks of the facility, CMP officials confirmed Thursday, assuming no issues were detected that necessitated a more immediate inspection.

The proposed substation at 1228 Main Street in East Wilton.

CMP's landscaping plan calls for trees and other vegetation to be planted around the substation to help screen it from view.

The board held a site visit Thursday afternoon, which was attended by board members, planners with CMP and the engineering firm Burns & McDonnell, as well as local residents. The board reconvened at the town office at 7 p.m., opening and soon closing a public hearing as no members of the public were in attendance to speak to the issue.

The board then went through its site review checklist, marking all of the town's requirements as either having been met by CMP or not applying to the unmanned facility. The board did add a note to their review, indicating their awareness that the project would be relocating a utility pole within 75 feet of a Resource Protection Area, namely a small stream. The pole being relocated, Pole No. 125, is already in the protected area, as is the preexisting transmission line.

The board unanimously approved CMP's application, 7 to 0. Project planners previously indicated that they had already lined up the necessary state permits.

In response to a question from the board, CMP officials indicated that construction would start next month, with a goal of having the new substation up and running by late May, 2020. After the facility was fully operational, the old substation on the Temple Road will be dismantled and the lot will return to its natural, vegetative state.

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4 Responses »

  1. I see the Bull Dog is still censoring opposing statements to articles....Don't rock the boat and stay politically correct Bull Dog and you loose all your credibility...

    Well said. Daily Bull Dog is known for only publishing comments in their favor. So much for free speech and the Second Ammendment. Small town antics and mentailty.

  3. and yet they publish your comments hating on them? wow soooo censored

  4. I like a lot of what you have to say Lion, but you gotta realize that this in not a blog space for people to just say what they feel. If your comment does not help further the discussion or add some value to the article at hand, it’s not going to be printed. I don’t think that there is a conspiracy here, just business and keeping things moving.