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Maine Joins 9 Other States to Improve Reliable and Clean Energy

The state has joined with other Northeastern states in an effort to plan and develop regional transmission infrastructure.

Maine has joined nine other Northeastern states promising to coordinate their work to improve the reliability of electricity transmission and smooth the transition to clean energy.

The Governor's Energy Office signed the agreement with Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Among other objectives, it establishes common technical standards for offshore wind transmission to reduce the cost of meeting federal and state goals and be compatible with future projects connecting wind energy to the grid.

State officials will cooperate on the planning and development of regional transmission infrastructure and may work with utilities, manufacturers, environmental groups and others.

Jeff Marks, executive director of ClimateWork Maine, a business group focused on climate change, said the framework agreed to by the states "could make it easier to build transmission lines and move electricity between states to deal with growing power demands." Cooperation among the states also may help modernize the electricity grid and ease clean energy planning for renewable energy such as solar, offshore wind and hydropower, he said in a statement.

The need for "sound transmission policies and projects will become even more critical" as electric vehicles, building heat pumps, data centers and artificial intelligence gain ground, Marks said.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in May issued long-term transmission planning directions to U.S. grid operators to improve their response to growing threats of extreme weather and greater electrification required to heat and cool buildings and operate vehicles.

ISO-New England, the region's grid operator, filed a proposal with FERC for new planning processes to ensure that transmission upgrades in the future address state clean energy policies. It would enable the ISO to provide technical assistance for potential transmission projects.

(c)2024 the Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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