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New England States Seek Federal Funding for Significant Investments in Transmission and Energy Storage Infrastructure

April 19, 2024
The applications have been submitted for the second round of funding through the U.S. DOE’s Grid Innovation Program.

A coalition of New England states jointly submitted two applications to secure federal funding to support investments in large-scale transmission and energy storage infrastructure to enhance grid reliability and resilience across the region. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Maine Governor’s Energy Office, the New Hampshire Department of Energy, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, and the Vermont Department of Public Service submitted applications for the Power Up New England project, and, in collaboration with the State of New York, the Clean Resilience Link project for the second round of funding through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Grid Innovation Program (GRIP). The projects feature transformational investments in the power grid to strengthen grid reliability and resilience, unlock additional supplies of renewable resources, and reduce energy burdens across the New England region and beyond. 

  • Power Up New England features new and upgraded transmission points of interconnection in Southeast Massachusetts and Southeast Connecticut to unlock up to 4,800 megawatts (MW) of additional offshore wind and innovative battery energy storage systems in Southwest Connecticut and Northern Maine to enhance grid resilience and optimize delivery of renewable energy. Project developers supporting the Power Up New England application include Elevate Renewables, Eversource Energy, a multi-day energy storage technology provider, and National Grid.  
  • Clean Resilience Link features an interregional transmission upgrade that would enable operation of a New York-New England transmission line at 345 kilovolts (kV), increasing transfer capacity between the two regions by up to 1,000 MW. Project developers supporting the Clean Resilience Link application include National Grid and Reactive Technologies. 

“The Northeast region offers DOE two compelling applications, highlighting our strong regional ties,” said Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Elizabeth Mahony. “As we work to achieve our climate goals and increase the generation of renewable energy in the region, we need to invest in our transmission system and storage resources to deliver clean energy to our residents and businesses.” 

The GIP, administered through DOE’s $10.5 billion Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program, is intended to fund projects that improve grid reliability and resilience using advanced technologies and innovative partnerships and approaches. The maximum award per project is $250 million, or $1 billion for a project with significant transmission investment, like Power Up New England and Clean Resilience Link. Up to $1.82 billion in funding is available through the second round of the GIP. The deadline to submit applications to DOE is April 17, 2024.  

In pursuing federal funds, the New England states seek to capture significant benefits for the region and its 15 million residents and businesses. Funding through the DOE program would offset costs for transmission and storage infrastructure projects that support clean energy goals, enhance operational flexibility, grid reliability, and resilience during extreme weather events and periods of system stress, and provide necessary innovation in project planning and development. 

The applications include robust Community Benefits Plans that describe the actions project developers will take related to community engagement, workforce development, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. An important objective of DOE’s GIP and of state energy offices is to advance the interests of and opportunities for disadvantaged communities as energy infrastructure is developed across the nation. 

Last September, the New England states issued an Invitational Call for Innovative Project Design Concepts to solicit proposals for possible submission to DOE for the second round of the GIP. Project proposals were due November 17, 2023. The New England states evaluated the proposals, with technical assistance from ISO New England, the region’s grid operator. In January, the states submitted concept papers for Power Up New England and Clean Resilience Link, for which they received encouragement from DOE to submit full applications. ISO New England continued to provide valuable technical assistance to the states throughout the application process.

DOE is expected to announce project selections this Fall.  


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