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Maine Public Service (MPS) and Central Maine Power (CMP) have agreed to study the feasibility of a new power transmission line that would directly connect the Aroostook County power grid to the rest of the state. Currently, the Aroostook grid is connected to the rest of Maine and New England only indirectly through transmission lines in Canada.

"The new transmission line has the potential to accomplish a number of important goals," says Gov. John Baldacci, D-Maine, who made the announcement. "It will connect Aroostook to the rest of the state, making it possible for a more competitive electricity market there and hopefully restraining prices. Both the Aroostook grid and the grid that serves the rest of the state would be strengthened."

CMP and MPS signed a memorandum of understanding formalizing the feasibility study. The agreement sets up a four- to six-month study period to evaluate the proposed transmission line, Baldacci says. In addition, the line would reinforce a memorandum of understanding signed Feb. 9 between Maine and New Brunswick for greater cooperation on energy issues.

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