For Immediate Release
Posted: April 17, 2024


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

Two applications demonstrate continued regional and interregional collaboration on electricity infrastructure to bolster grid reliability and resilience

CONCORD, NH — 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 (GIP). 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 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. 

“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.”

"Connecticut is excited to submit these two innovative projects, together with our sister New England states, to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Innovation Program,” said Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes. “If funded, these projects will provide critical support to our state, regional, and national efforts to affordably and equitably transition to a cleaner and more reliable grid."

“A more modern and resilient electric grid is an essential component of Maine and the region's clean energy future," said Dan Burgess, Director of the Maine Governor’s Energy Office. “This joint application to the Grid Innovation Program underscores the importance of continued collaboration with neighboring states and puts forth thoughtful proposals that will help strengthen and prepare our regional grid.”

“New Hampshire appreciates opportunities for regional cooperation as we seek to improve our system’s reliability and resiliency,” said New Hampshire Department of Energy Commissioner Jared Chicoine. “We are excited to join New England in pursuing support for this multi-pronged approach with the expectation that it will provide ratepayer benefits."

“Regional collaboration on significant energy projects is critical in advancing our collective clean energy and system reliability efforts. These DOE applications provide a great opportunity to make our regional energy system more resilient and reliable long term," said Acting Rhode Island Energy Commissioner Chris Kearns.

“Vermont is encouraged by the interstate collaboration that took place to submit these two applications to the Department of Energy,” said Vermont Department of Public Service Commissioner June Tierney. “These projects promise to deliver on the values held by Vermont for electricity – reliability, affordability, resilience, and sustainability.”

"These two applications for the Grid Innovation Program are the result of a whole-of-government effort to compete for federal funding, and close partnerships with our counterparts in neighboring states," said Massachusetts Director of Federal Funds and Infrastructure Quentin Palfrey. "The funding would be transformational for the development of renewable energy and grid resiliency across the entire Northeast region, and we look forward to the consideration of our proposals by the U.S. Department of Energy."

“Elevate believes we’re at a pivotal inflection point where reliability meets a reasoned, clean energy transition, and we’re excited to partner with the New England States and be part of the Power Up portfolio of innovative projects considered for partnership funding through DOE. Elevate is continuing to demonstrate the transformative addition of a carbon-neutral battery storage system to transform the operations of an existing generating facility to meet New England’s resiliency goals, repurpose existing brownfield sites with clean energy investments to benefit disadvantaged local communities, retaining and retraining a workforce for a new era, and provide resources to address customer energy burdens, while enabling the region for the clean energy transition,” said Eric Cherniss, Founder and Head of Development at Elevate Renewables

“Power Up presents an opportunity for a transformational investment in New England’s clean energy transition while improving grid reliability, reducing energy burdens for customers, uplifting local communities, and creating high-quality jobs,” said Bill Quinlan, President of Transmission and Offshore Wind Projects at Eversource Energy. “Eversource is proud to be a partner in Power Up and help advance the nation’s goal of building a clean and equitable energy economy. We are confident our proposal will result in a new era of planning and development for New England’s electric grid and deliver resounding local economic and community benefits.”

“National Grid is proud to partner with the six New England states, New York, and other developers to propose two projects that will drive our region toward a stronger, smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy future,” said Lisa Wieland, President of National Grid, New England.  “These projects will deliver more clean energy to our customers, create thousands of jobs, and bring significant economic opportunities to our communities. National Grid looks forward to partnering on these projects to help the region meet its clean energy goals.”

About the Grid Innovation Program

DOE’s GRIP Program is funded through the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The GRIP Program provides an opportunity for states, Tribes, local governments, and public utility commissions to apply for funding through Topic Area 3 – the Grid Innovation Program (GIP), which is intended to support projects that improve grid reliability and resilience using advanced technologies and innovative partnerships and approaches. DOE is interested in broad project applications, including interregional transmission projects, investments that accelerate the interconnection of clean energy generation, utilization of distribution grid assets to provide backup power and reduce transmission requirements, and more.

On October 18, 2023, DOE announced selection of eight projects for first round GIP funding, totaling $1.4 billion in federal investment. On November 14, 2023, DOE issued the Funding Opportunity Announcement for the second round of the GRIP Program, with approximately $1.82 billion available for projects applying for GIP funding.