Six businesses across the state will share $6.5 million in grant funding from the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to support upgrades to the electrical grid that will allow them to invest in infrastructure and expand their workforce.

Gov. Janet Mills announced the awards Monday as the latest investment from the state’s allocation of nearly $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan funds. Since 2021, just shy of $750 million has been spent or committed.

A Tanbark employee oversees a demonstration of how the company’s sustainable packaging is made. Eloise Goldsmith photo

Mills said the grants – awarded to businesses through a competitive grant process that opened last fall – will allow business to “access the safe and reliable electricity they need to power their operations, increase efficiency and create new, good-paying jobs.”

“Electricity supply can be a challenge for many businesses, particularly in rural areas,” Mills said in a statement. “Modernizing electric grid infrastructure is key to helping employers locate and grow in Maine with confidence.”

The biggest grant, $4 million, was awarded to Kingfish Maine Inc. of Jonesport, to build a recirculating aquaculture facility that will produce 8,500 metric tons of Yellowtail Kingfish annually. With the grant, the company will upgrade the existing power supply to the facility. That project, like many aquaculture developments, has faced pushback from locals.

The other grants were:


• $1,336,892 to Tanbark Molded Fiber Products, Inc. of Saco, a fast-growing producer of sustainable packaging made from Maine’s heritage pulp and paper industry. Tanbark will use its grant to upgrade power at its Saco production facility to meet growing demand and plans to hire 35 additional employees.

• $993,608 to Maine Plywood USA, which plans to open a production facility in Bingham that will employ more than 100 workers. The grant will be used to integrate power generation capacity into its facility, saving money and enhancing competitiveness.

• $55,000 to Five Pillars Butchery in Unity, which is working to construct Northern New England’s first halal-certified, USDA regulated slaughter and processing facility. Five Pillars will use its grant to support the construction of the polyphase power components in the new facility.

• $47,500 to Heiwa Tofu of Rockport, a producer of small batch tofu made with organic, non-GMO soybeans. The award will allow the company to upgrade from single-phase power, which is more common in homes, to three-phase power.

• 42,500 to the Holy Donut, Inc. of Arundel, which produces craft doughnuts made from Maine-grown potatoes and has retail locations in Arundel, Portland and Scarborough with a fourth planned for Brunswick. This grant will allow the company to upgrade the supply power at its Arundel production facility to three-phase and implement a new production line.

“Reliable electric service is critical to Maine’s economic growth and these grants will support these Maine companies (as they) continue to grow and expand, providing good jobs for Maine people,” Heather Johnson, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development and Dan Burgess, director of the Governor’s Energy Office, said in a joint statement.

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