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CMP fined $360,000 for violations of operating reliability systems

The fine comes as part of a settlement between CMP and the Northeast Power Coordinating Council

PORTLAND, Maine — Central Maine Power (CMP) has agreed to pay a $360,000 penalty for failing to comply with a testing system meant to ensure the reliability of transmission operations.

According to a settlement between CMP and the Northeast Power Coordinating Council, the two violations -- self-reported on Nov. 9, 2019, and May 7, 2020 -- "posed a moderate risk to the reliability of the Bulk Power System."

The penalty was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The settlement notes that CMP was "highly cooperative" during the enforcement process, did self-identify and self-report the violations, and accepted responsibility for them.

However, the compliance history of "CMP and other CMP affiliates" was considered an "aggravating factor" in determining the amount of the penalty, according to the settlement.

In 2019, Avangrid Networks, Inc., CMP's parent company, was fined $450,00 for reliability violations.

According to the settlement agreement, CMP did complete mitigation, including updated procedures, alarms, and training, by May 22, 2020.

The settlement notes, "However, given the repetitive nature of these violations by CMP and its affiliates, Avangrid has also taken strategic improvement actions to improve its operations culture."

In a statement issued in April, CMP spokeswoman Catherine Hartnett said, "We take our obligation to provide a robust and reliable transmission system very seriously and, as is expected of utilities, we self-reported these incidents and cooperated fully with the investigation. We have worked with our regulators to identify the root causes and have updated training on our processes, and equipment performance to prevent future occurrences.”