Governor Mills Announces $4.4 Million Grant Opportunity to Increase Electrical Grid Resilience to Extreme Storms

Federal funds through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will spur investments in grid infrastructure and technology to better withstand effects of extreme storms and ensure reliable electricity for Maine people and businesses

Governor Janet Mills today announced the availability of $4.4 million in Federal funds through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to increase the resilience of Maine's electrical grid to the effects of extreme storms.

The funds will be administered by the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) through the Maine Grid Resilience Program which will support resilience projects such as weatherizing critical technology and equipment, moving electrical infrastructure underground, and improving vegetation and utility pole management, among others.

The funds come after a series of severe winter storms in December and January caused significant devastation to communities, several millions of dollars in infrastructure damage, and left hundreds of thousands of Mainers without power for several days across the state.

“Losing power is not only an inconvenience; it can threaten the health and safety of Maine people,” said Governor Janet Mills. “We know we can expect more severe storms in the future, which means that we need to take act now to strengthen our electrical grid, and that’s exactly what the Grid Resilience Program will do. With these investments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can improve our electrical grid, reduce the frequency and duration of power outages in the future, and better protect the health, safety, and welfare of Maine people.”

“An investment in our electrical grid not only helps to keep the lights on, but also protects the health and safety of Maine people,” said the Maine Congressional Delegation. “This grant, funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help support and modernize the Maine Grid Resilience Program’s projects to help reduce the number of power outages in the future. By making smart investments today, we can protect our grid for tomorrow.”

“With the frequency and severity of storms expected to increase as a result of climate change, it’s imperative that we make smart investments in our electrical grid to mitigate and reduce future impacts,” said Dan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Energy Office. “Through this program, our goal is to empower Maine households, businesses, and communities to be resilient to future disruptive events.”

“Extreme winds and storms have left hundreds of thousands of Mainers without power this winter season," said Maria Robinson, Director, Grid Deployment Office, U.S. Department of Energy. “The Grid Deployment Office is proud to be partnering with the state of Maine to deploy this historic funding to strengthen and modernize Maine's electric grid and mitigate the impact of server storms because every community across the state deserves reliable, affordable electricity for their homes and businesses.”

“The time could not be more urgent to invest in our state’s electrical grid,” said Senator Mark Lawrence and Representative Paige Zeigler, co-chairs of the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology. “The investments made through the Grid Resilience Program will help Maine prepare for and respond to future extreme storms and other climate change impacts.”

GEO was awarded these funds from the U.S. Department of Energy through the BIL. The office anticipates receiving another $6.6 million in future BIL funding for additional grid resilience projects in forthcoming years.

Eligible entities include electric utilities, electricity generators, storage operators, and others. In addition to supporting grid resilience, the program aims to support Maine’s climate and clean energy goals and further expand Maine’s clean energy economy, which is the fastest growing in New England.

The request for applications to the program is available to view on the GEO website. There will be an informational meeting on the program on February 28, 2024, and proposals are due March 28, 2024. Get more program details here.