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Monday, April 21, 10:14 a.m.
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Bangor Hydro says Grove outages caused by ‘electrical system [that] exceeded project demand’

Contradicts Campus Crest CEO's response that power loss was caused by electric company's installation of 'faulty fuses'

After a slew of power outages angered residents of The Grove in Orono, the housing complex built by Campus Crest apologized and blamed the inconveniences on “faulty fuses,” caused by Bangor Hydro, the electric company of the greater Bangor area that assisted with the installation, according to Campus Crest CEO Mike Hartnett.

However, in a statement from Bangor Hydro acquired on Monday, they believe that the problems with power outages stemmed not from faulty fuses, but from an excess in electrical power being pumped — due to the sub-freezing temperatures — to the transformers.

“After speaking with engineers involved in the project and the subsequent outages at Campus Crest in Orono, we believe the problem was because actual demand on the electrical system exceeded projected demand,” Susan Faloon, Bangor Hydro’s communications supervisor wrote in an email.

The statement goes on to read that the heat pumps being used at The Grove in Orono’s complex aren’t efficient enough to support the heat needed.

“We believe the use of more efficient heat pumps may have prevented the problem.  We support heat pump technology, however we recommend units that meet certain efficiency guidelines,” Faloon wrote. “The units that are being used in the Campus Crest facility do not meet those guidelines or even Energy Star guidelines.”

The statement concluded with Bangor Hydro stating that the steps they have taken should alleviate the issues and will work with management to come up a more permanent fix.

“We believe we’ve taken steps to address the problems for now [upgrading fuses and transformers] and we’ve also identified some potential solutions to prevent future outages and will work with property management to come up with a long-term solution,” Faloon wrote.

On Saturday, Hartnett, Campus Crest Director of Marketing Emily Leverone and spokesman Jason Chudoba spoke with The Maine Campus and assured it that the problems at The Grove were caused by “faulty fuses.”

“I think we had some fuses that were not properly installed by them, and they went out and replaced the faulty fuses,” Hartnett said on Saturday. “It’s by no means [because] of faulty design: It was the fuses, and [Bangor Hydro] should have known that from the design.”

Check back to mainecampus.com for updates on this story.