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Governor Chafee Announces Progress in Regional Energy Infrastructure Initiative

New England States Seek ISO support for expanded electrical transmission and natural gas capacity

Providence, RI - Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced today that he, along with the other New England Governors, have asked ISO-New England (ISO-NE) to take initial steps needed to implement the recent regional agreement to expand energy infrastructure in the Northeast. In a letter requested by 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 develop requests for proposals to construct the transmission infrastructure to import between 1200 MW and 3600 MW of electricity from clean energy sources into the grid. It also asked for help developing a funding mechanism to support investment in additional natural gas pipeline capacity. "Today, the New England states took another important step toward realizing a more affordable, reliable, and clean energy portfolio," said Governor Chafee. "Increasing access to supplies of clean, affordable electricity, such as hydropower, and reducing overall energy price volatility is critical for Rhode Island and the region to safeguard our shared long-term economic and environmental security. We can realize that future by coordinating our energy infrastructure investments throughout the region, and I look forward to working with ISO-NE to achieve a more economically-competitive and environmentally-friendly New England." This portfolio of infrastructure investments will help facilitate the delivery of electric generation from no- and low-carbon clean energy resources and ensure that New England has access to adequate supplies of natural gas. The Governors believe that such strategic infrastructure investments will improve the region's economic competiveness and attract new investment by reducing overall energy costs for residents and businesses, while protecting New England's shared quality of life and environment. The letter builds upon a December 2013 cooperative statement, in which the six New England Governors committed their states to an energy initiative designed to bring affordable, cleaner, and more reliable power to homes and businesses across the northeast. The initiative is designed to accelerate regional cooperation on expanding energy infrastructure in New England and transform the region's energy, environment, and economic future.

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