Power Lines

Multi-State Agreement Signed to Enhance Electric Grid Reliability

New Jersey today joined a total of 10 Northeast states in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a framework for coordinating their activities to improve interregional transmission planning and development, which is expected to enhance grid reliability and accelerate the clean energy transition.

Last year, a group of Northeast states led a request to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to convene and support a multi-state initiative, the Northeast States Collaborative on Interregional Transmission, in a first-in-the-nation effort to explore mutually beneficial opportunities to increase the flow of electricity between three different planning regions in the Northeast and assess offshore wind infrastructure needs and solutions. The MOU was signed by New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

“New Jersey is not alone in experiencing increasingly frequent extreme weather events and record-breaking temperatures that threaten public health and safety,” said New Gov. Phil Murphy. “We are also not alone in our response to the intensifying climate crisis, which provides crucial opportunities to leverage interregional partnerships toward improving our collective resilience and economic vitality. As the Garden State bolsters its standing as a national offshore wind hub, we will continue working tirelessly alongside our regional partners to improve grid reliability.”

“Now more than ever, our electric grid serves as the foundation from which we will continue to build our clean energy future,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) President Christine Guhl-Sadovy. “As we continue to grow our burgeoning offshore wind industry – while capitalizing on its significant environmental and economic benefits – we will also continue to collaborate with our regional partners to build a transmission network that is increasingly more reliable and resilient.”

The multi-state group has been working with DOE over the past year to develop the structure and scope of activities for the collaborative. Through this MOU, the collaborative sets forth its agreement to work together on interregional transmission infrastructure and establishes mechanisms for sharing information. Enhancing transmission ties between regions lowers costs for consumers through increased access to lower-priced energy and bolsters reliability during periods of extreme weather and system stress.

The collaborative also announced today plans to produce a strategic action plan for promoting the development of interregional transmission projects for offshore wind resources to be harnessed off the Northeast coast and delivered to communities as clean, reliable power. The action plan would include identification of barriers to such projects and actionable options for addressing them. The collaborative intends to provide opportunities for external engagement as part of the development of a plan. The states would also coordinate on technical standards for offshore wind transmission equipment to ensure future flexibility and interoperability as projects come on-line in different locations and at different times, preserving the ability to interconnect regions as the industry matures.

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