State energy agencies in the six New England states are partnering to compete for as much as $1 billion from Washington to upgrade electricity transmission, including generating up to 4,800 megawatts with offshore wind and battery storage in Connecticut and northern Maine.

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont jointly submitted two applications for federal funding in a project called Power Up New England intended to improve the reliability and resilience of the region’s grid, the states said Wednesday. The states also are working with New York state in a second round of funding that features a transmission upgrade for a 345-kilovolt New York-New England transmission line to transfer up to 1,000 megawatts between the two regions.

The proposal features new and upgraded transmission points of grid interconnection in Massachusetts and Connecticut to tap offshore wind and battery energy storage systems in Connecticut and Maine.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s $10.5 billion Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships Program awards a maximum of $250 million for each project, or $1 billion for a project with significant transmission investment, such as Power Up New England and the plan with New York.

Up to $1.8 billion is available in a second round.

The federal money would offset costs for clean energy transmission and storage infrastructure projects, make it easier to operate the grid and enhance its resilience during storms and “system stress” such as heat waves and long durations of extreme cold, the states said.


Battery storage technology is critical as zero-carbon energy such as wind and solar power ramp up and are released when the sun isn’t shining and wind turbines can’t catch a breeze.

Federal environmental officials announced on March 15 their selection of a 2 million-acre site off the coasts of Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire for an offshore floating wind project. Maine also is looking to establish a wind port on Sears Island where turbines would be assembled before being pushed out to the Atlantic.

The New England states pledged in their application to promote community engagement, workforce development and diversity, equity and inclusion.

The states in September sought proposals for possible submission to DOE for the second round of the grid project. The states submitted concept papers for their two proposals and were encouraged by DOE to apply, the states said. Earlier this year, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with support from New Hampshire and Vermont, submitted a concept paper to DOE that proposed a transmission network off New England’s coast to connect thousands of megawatts of offshore wind.

DOE is expected to announce project selections in the fall.

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