Five New England States Announce New Regional Energy Transmission Infrastructure Initiative – Request for Information to Integrate Clean Energy Resources
On September 1, 2022, 5 New England States (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island) announced a joint initiative to explore investment in electric transmission infrastructure needed to better integrate clean energy resources such as, but not limited to, offshore wind, while improving the reliability, resilience, and affordability of the grid for the regions’ electricity customers.
The States are releasing a joint Request for Information seeking comment on an initiative to integrate offshore wind and other resources in a cost-effective, reliable and efficient manner—including opportunities to leverage federal funding for New England transmission investments under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Having a clean, affordable, reliable regional electricity grid – supported by transparent decision-making processes and a transmission system that reliably accommodates duly enacted clean energy laws – is foundational to achieving our clean energy future. An integrated, reliable, and resilient, transmission system that will achieve the various New England states’ decarbonization targets, at least cost, and in a manner responsive to our state policies and the needs of our consumers.
The States announced that they will issue a joint Request for Information outlining a conceptual framework for a modular offshore wind integration plan and seeking comments both on this plan and other infrastructure upgrades that will anticipate and meet consumer needs at least cost. To advance this initiative, the participating state agencies will convene a technical meeting open and accessible to the public to be held on a date to be determined. Through this technical conference, the participating agencies will solicit comments and dialogue with all interested stakeholders on the modular offshore wind integration plan and a path to achieving it. Major areas of focus for stakeholder dialogue will include: most effective points of interconnection for offshore wind, how to minimize land-based transmission upgrades that have traditionally been sited in overburdened and underserved communities, the design and implementation of high voltage direct current (HVDC) systems to provide the most efficient system structure, how to co-optimize transmission infrastructure to provide maximum consumer benefits, and how to reduce overall system cost and consumer impact.
Comments are due by 4:00 p.m. on October 28, 2022. The information gathered through this RFI will inform States’ decisions on whether to take further steps to procure or facilitate transmission investment, will assist States’ planning activities, and further inform State efforts to secure federal funding, including under IIJA, and otherwise support investment in infrastructure.
To submit your comments or questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The States held a Technical Meeting on October 7, 2022 at 10 a.m. Please view the Notice of Technical Meeting for more information. Download the agenda here. View a recording of the Technical Meeting here. Presentations from the Technical Meeting can be accessed below:
J P Fitzsimmons
Mainstream Renewable Power
ME Labor Climate Council