Press Release: 2024-07-10

Northeast States Announce Agreement to Enhance Collaboration in Pursuing Electric Transmission


Northeast States Collaborative on Interregional Transmission is the first effort of its kind. Next steps include a strategic action plan for promoting interregional transmission projects. 



Maria Hardiman, Communications Director


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BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll Administration today joined fellow New England states, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a framework for coordinating their activities to improve interregional transmission planning and development. Last year, Massachusetts led a request to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to convene and lead a multi-state group, the Northeast States Collaborative on Interregional Transmission, in a first-in-the-nation effort to explore mutually beneficial opportunities to increase the flow of electricity between three different planning regions in the Northeast and assess offshore wind infrastructure needs and solutions. 

"As we face down the challenge of climate change, we know we cannot tackle this threat as individual states,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “Regional and interregional collaboration is a top priority of the Healey-Driscoll Administration. We’re proud to see our ten states working together like never before. Through partnerships like this Collaborative, we will be able to advance more cost-effective transmission projects for the residents of the Northeast.” 

The multi-state group has been working with DOE over the past year to develop the structure and scope of activities for the Collaborative. Through this MOU, the Collaborative sets forth its agreement to work together on interregional transmission infrastructure and establishes mechanisms for sharing information. Enhancing transmission ties between regions lowers prices for consumers through increased access to lower-cost energy and bolsters reliability during periods of extreme weather and system stress. 

The Collaborative also announced plans to produce a strategic action plan for promoting the development of interregional transmission projects for offshore wind. The action plan would include identification of barriers to such projects and actionable options for addressing them. The Collaborative intends to provide opportunities for external engagement as part of the development of a plan. The states also intend to coordinate on technical standards for offshore wind transmission equipment to ensure future flexibility and interoperability as projects come on-line in different locations and at different times, preserving the ability to interconnect regions as the industry matures.   

“Today’s announcement charts a path forward in the critical work that this group of ten states, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, can accomplish to build a more reliable electric grid and drive down consumer costs by expanding access across markets,” said Jason Marshall, EEA Deputy Secretary for Federal and Regional Energy Affairs. “Our collective planning now will ensure that we maximize investments in infrastructure that are foundational to meeting power system demands in the decades to come.” 

The MOU was signed by Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. 

In a demonstration of the growing collaboration among states on interregional transmission, two months ago the New England states and New York filed a joint application for federal funding through DOE’s Grid Innovation Program (GIP). The application proposed development of the “Clean Resilience Link,” a transmission system 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 the interregional Clean Resilience Link.  

“Connecticut is pleased to join our sister Northeast states in this groundbreaking initiative to work toward a cleaner, more affordable, more reliable electricity grid,” said Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes. “The Northeast shares an interconnected grid and it’s essential that we work together to meet our energy needs, building on our region’s long and productive history of cooperation. Improved transmission of electricity means a reduced likelihood of service interruptions and lower costs for consumers through better access to clean, efficient and competitive supply alternatives.”   

“As more clean energy comes online in Maine to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, stabilize energy costs, and grow our economy, investments in transmission planning and regional coordination are essential,” said Dan Burgess, Director of the Maine Governor’s Energy Office. “Maine’s participation in the Collaborative will allow the state to engage in important regional transmission planning to ensure reliable, affordable, clean power is delivered to Maine people and businesses.” 

"We're excited to enhance our regional relationships around transmission capacity throughout the Northeast," said Maryland Energy Administration Director Paul G. Pinsky. "This cooperative effort around transmission solutions will allow Maryland to progress towards its ambitious carbon pollution reduction and offshore wind energy goals in a more efficient and cost-effective manner." 

“Now more than ever, our electric grid serves as the foundation from which we will continue to build our clean energy future,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) President Christine Guhl-Sadovy. “As we continue to grow our burgeoning offshore wind industry – while capitalizing on its significant environmental and economic benefits – we will also continue to collaborate with our regional partners to build a transmission network that is increasingly more reliable and resilient.” 

“This new Collaborative will be an important tool to help develop interregional transmission projects for offshore wind resources,” said Rory M. Christian, CEO of the New York State Department of Public Service Harnessed off the Northeast coast and delivered to communities as clean, reliable power, they will play a key role in meeting the requirements of the CLCPA and reducing emissions.”