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New England Governors Ask for Infrastructure to Deliver More Electricity, More Natural Gas
January 23, 2014
For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 23
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, (207) 287-2531
Patrick Woodcock, Dir., Office of Energy, (207) 624-7405
AUGUSTA – New England’s governors are seeking to develop transmission infrastructure that can deliver clean energy into the region’s electric system and expand pipeline capacity that will bring more natural gas to New England.
All six governors have asked ISO-New England (ISO-NE) in a letter to implement their recent regional agreement to expand energy infrastructure in the Northeast.
“New England’s electricity costs are not competitive,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Our high energy prices drain family budgets and are a significant barrier to attracting business investment, especially in energy-intensive industries such as manufacturing. But we are geographically positioned to take advantage of competitively priced natural gas and hydropower resources, if we invest with other states in key infrastructure.”
“This infrastructure initiative can bring world-class resources to power New England industry and start saving money for Maine families,” said Governor LePage. “I am encouraged that working with the other New England states will bring us closer to capitalizing on more competitive energy sources.”
On behalf of the governors, the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) asked ISO-NE—operator of the region’s electric grid— to assist the states as they request proposals for transmission infrastructure to deliver at least 1,200 MW and as much as 3,600 MW of electricity from clean energy sources into the grid, as well as to develop a funding mechanism to support investment in additional pipelines to bring natural gas from the Pennsylvania region into the New England.
As the region’s power generation becomes increasingly reliant on natural gas, infrastructure investments will help ensure adequate and competitively priced supplies of gas and clean energy from diverse sources while lowering the cost of electricity for residents and businesses.
In December, the six New England Governors committed their states to an unprecedented level of regional cooperation to develop an agenda designed to bring more affordable, cleaner and reliable power to homes and businesses across the northeast.
The statement, entitled the “New England Governors’ Commitment to Regional Cooperation on Energy Infrastructure,” states: “To ensure a reliable, affordable and diverse energy system, we need investments in additional energy efficiency, renewable generation, natural gas pipelines and electric transmission. New England ratepayers can benefit if the states collaborate to advance our common goals.” The letter sent Wednesday (see attached) outlines the exact steps to carry out this initiative.