The Center runs with a proprietary IT control system, compatible with those of all manufacturers whose turbines operate at Iberdrola Renovables wind farms. The new facility is based on Iberdrola Renovables’ CORE in Toledo, which began operations in 2003. The Portland CORE meets all security and reliability standards required in the United States.
Iberdrola Renovables is the second largest renewables operator in the United States, where it is present in 23 states. It has installed capacity of 3,877 MW spread over 41 wind farms, with some 850 MW currently under construction.
In other grid news, the CEO of Iberdrola SA arrived in Maine to celebrate Central Maine Power’s $1.4 billion power grid upgrade. Iberdrola is CMP’s corporate parent. The grid upgrade will create more capacity for renewable power projects. Maine is currently the top wind power producer in New England.
Maine Gov. John Baldacci describes the upgrade as the largest energy infrastructure in the state’s history. “There’s a direct impact on Maine that will be immediate. It’s going to be a real shot in the arm. We’ve been in the worst recession since the Depression and we haven’t updated this power grid system for over 40 years. If we want to be an energy player, then we really have to have the investment.”
The power grid upgrade includes the installation of 500 miles of new and upgraded high-voltage lines, smart meters, and five power substations. When completed, the smart meters will connect to a network through wireless communication.
Federal stimulus grants are funding roughly half of the $200 million cost of the smart meter project. Iberdrola sold three natural gas utilities to help finance the power grid upgrade. The construction costs will eventually be recouped from New England ratepayers.