Two major electric utilities in the US state of Maine have agreed to jointly develop electricity transmission projects in order to improve grid strength and capacity.

Emera Maine and Central Maine Power (CMP) have signed a memorandum of understanding to identify potential projects that would improve links between southern New England and northern Maine. The agreement comes in response to a call by the six New England governors for investments in the region’s energy infrastructure.

More than 2100 MW of wind power development has been proposed in Maine and the New England governors have called for further diversification of the region’s energy portfolio, including the addition of renewable sources.

Emera and CMP have outlined two initial phases of work. The first will analyse the feasibility of each project and the second includes all development activities from design and engineering to construction bidding.

"Electric transmission can be a significant challenge to new low/no emitting generation sources seeking to enter our New England market," said Gerard Chasse, president and COO of Emera Maine. "That’s a challenge that our companies have been working together on for some time, particularly in Northern Maine.

"With this MOU we are renewing and expanding these efforts to identify and develop creative and cost effective transmission solutions to benefit the state and the region."