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November 16, 2017

CMP President and CEO Sara Burns to retire by year's end

File photo / Tim Greenway
File photo / Tim Greenway
Sara Burns, CMP president and CEO, in the energy control center in Augusta, where CMP monitors and controls its high-voltage electric grid.

Central Maine Power Co., an indirect subsidiary of AVANGRID Inc. (NYSE: AGR), announced today that President and CEO Sara J. Burns will retire at the end of 2017.

Burns will also step down from her role of oversight for asset management and planning, business development and regulatory strategy for Avangrid Networks Inc. She will join Avangrid Networks board of directors in January 2018.

Burns, who joined CMP in 1987 and served in various executive positions before becoming president in 1998, was named CEO in 2005.

During her tenure as CEO, she oversaw CMP's successful $1.4 billion Maine Power Reliability Program, a five-year upgrade completed under budget and ahead of schedule in 2015 that was the largest construction project in Maine's history and the most extensive bulk power project ever undertaken in New England.

She was honored by Mainebiz as its 2013 Business Leader of the Year for large businesses, largely on the strength of the company's utility more than $500 million investment made in that project at its midway point since 2012 — supporting between 2,700 and 3,000 direct jobs and up to 900 indirect jobs, with as many as 275 Maine companies being involved in the project in some fashion.

This summer, CMP submitted several proposals in response to Massachusetts' RFP for 1,200 megawatts of clean energy, including a new transmission line between Maine and Quebec that the company says could provide $150 million in annual electricity cost savings for Massachusetts ratepayers by tapping the hydropower resources of Hydro-Quebec. Burns told Mainebiz in a Q&A interview published in October that if CMP's bid is successful, it is projected to save $40 million per year for Maine in annual electricity cost savings to ratepayers over the 20-year forecast period (2023-42).

Winning projects are expected to be selected in January 2018.

In its news release announcing Burns' retirement plans, CMP reported that a search for a new CEO is underway under AVANGRID's succession-planning process.

"We thank Sara for her strong leadership of CMP," said Bob Kump, CEO of Avangrid Networks. "She is recognized as a civic leader in Maine and a respected professional throughout the energy industry. Sara has provided key leadership across AVANGRID through her role as head of business development, regulatory affairs, and asset management. We are pleased to have Sara join the board of directors of Avangrid Networks, where she will to continue to provide strategic guidance to our companies."

In addition to her career as a business leader, Burns remains an active civic leader in Maine as a member of the board of directors for Colby College, her alma mater. She is also a member of the board of directors of The Mitchell Institute and the Augusta Board of Trade and is chair of the board of directors of Maine & Co.

Read more

CMP ready to flow: New England Clean Energy Connect bid includes 1,000 MW of power from Hydro-Quebec

CMP proposing new transmission line to tap Hydro-Quebec power

Iberdrola to invest $3B in Maine over 7 years

Introducing Mainebiz's 2013 Business Leaders of the Year

CMP chief Sara Burns thrives amid change and challenge

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