Governor Mills Announces Nearly $6.5 Million in Maine Jobs & Recovery Grants to Upgrade Electric Grid and Support Rural Economic Development 

Governor Janet Mills today announced nearly $6.5 million in grant awards through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to support upgrades to the electrical grid for Maine businesses, allowing them to invest in new infrastructure, expand operations and facilities, and grow their workforce.

The program, an initiative of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), the Governor's Energy Office (GEO), and the Maine Technology Institute (MTI), offers grants for electrical grid upgrades with the goal of boosting grid reliability and resilience in Maine.

"These important investments from my Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan will help Maine businesses access the safe and reliable electricity they need to power their operations, increase efficiency, and create new, good-paying jobs," said Governor Janet Mills. "Electricity supply can be a challenge for many businesses, particularly in rural areas. Modernizing electric grid infrastructure is key to helping employers locate and grow in Maine with confidence."

Announced in September 2023, the program will support improved electricity grid access for economic development projects in Maine's heritage industries, including food production, manufacturing, and forestry.

"Reliable electric service is critical to Maine's economic growth and these grants will support these Maine companies to continue to grow and expand, providing good jobs for Maine people," said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development and Dan Burgess, Director of the Governor's Energy Office. "Upgrading the electric grid will also benefit the communities surrounding these businesses by supporting additional economic activity."

Six Maine companies were awarded grants through a competitive process administered by MTI. Each project includes a private capital match and supports Maine's emissions reduction and clean energy targets. Businesses selected to receive an award include:

  • Five Pillars Butchery, Unity, $55,000: Five Pillars Butchery is a family owned and operated halal slaughter and processor currently working to construct Northern New England's first halal-certified, USDA regulated slaughter and processing facility. Five Pillars will use its grant to support the construction of the polyphase power components in the new facility, which will employ 12 full-time employees, benefit Maine farmers and cooperatives across the supply chain, and help meet Maine's growing need for halal meat.
  • Heiwa Tofu, Rockport, $47,500: Heiwa Tofu is a Rockport-based producer of small batch tofu handcrafted with organic, non-GMO soybeans. The company, which uses soybeans grown across Maine and New England, is limited by single-phase power at their facility. The company will use its grant to upgrade to three-phase power, which will expand production capacity and result in the hiring of three new full-time employees over the next two years.
  • The Holy Donut, Inc., Arundel, $42,000: The Holy Donut, Inc. is a Maine producer of craft doughnuts made from Maine-grown potatoes with retail locations in Arundel, Portland, and Scarborough. This grant will allow the company to upgrade the supply power at its Arundel production facility to three-phase and allow The Holy Donut, Inc. to implement a new production line that will better position the company for growth throughout the Northeast.
  • Kingfish Maine Inc., Jonesport, $4,000,000: Kingfish Maine is a recirculating aquaculture facility to be built in Jonesport. At full production, the company will produce 8,500 metric tons of Yellowtail Kingfish annually. This grant will allow the company to upgrade the existing power supply to the facility, which will eventually employ between 70-100 local residents.
  • Maine Plywood USA, Bingham, $993,608: Maine Plywood USA is a producer of multi-ply plywood with plans to open a production facility in Bingham. When operational, the plant will employ 110 workers. The company will use its grant to integrate power generation capacity into its facility, saving money and enhancing competitiveness.
  • Tanbark Molded Fiber Products, Inc., Saco, $1,336,892: Tanbark is a rapidly growing producer of high-end sustainable packaging made from Maine's heritage pulp and paper industry. Tanbark will use its grant to upgrade power at its Saco production facility, allowing it to use equipment necessary to meet growing demand. The upgrade will allow the company to hire at least 35 new positions.

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is Governor Mills' plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people and families, help businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build an economy poised for future prosperity. Since Jobs Plan took effect in 2021, over $743 million in Jobs Plan funding has been spent or committed to deliver results on behalf of Mainers. For more about the Plan, visit