Goals and Purpose of EGUP (Electric Grid Upgrade Program)
The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided Maine with a significant amount of discretionary funding to assist businesses and organizations in recovering from the impacts of the pandemic. In July 2021, the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan was passed by the Maine State Legislature which allocated these ARPA dollars to a wide range of programs and industries across the state. The legislature allocated $8M to support improved electricity grid access that will support economic recovery for businesses, with a focus on rural economic development projects and heritage industry projects in food processing, forestry, and manufacturing.
Earlier this year, the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) deployed the first $1.5M of these funds to provide technical assistance planning grants to communities throughout the state. In partnership with GEO and Maine’s Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD), MTI is now launching the Electric Grid Upgrade Program (EGUP) to fund projects for businesses presently engaged in the permitting process to build out and/or improve electric grid infrastructure required for their proposed growth plans. With EGUP, MTI expects to award approximately $6.5M for the highest-scoring applicants to utilize in 2024 and beyond.
EGUP’s purpose is to support electric grid upgrades for Maine-based business operations. Organizations not headquartered in Maine are eligible to apply; however, all grant funds must go toward Maine-based projects that directly benefit businesses in Maine. Applicants must demonstrate how their project will create significant economic impact and create quality jobs for Maine residents. Additional consideration will be given to applicants from rural communities most acutely affected by the negative economic impacts of the COVID pandemic. Applicants must demonstrate significant progress already made with required permitting processes.
All awarded EGUP grant funds must be expended by March 2026. MTI reserves the right to make awards less than the amount requested by applicants. MTI reserves the right to tranche out award funds over time based on project performance.
EGUP is a competitive application process that requires matching co-investments on behalf of applicants. Awards will be made to a subset of the highest-scoring applications that demonstrate satisfactory adherence to the program mission. MTI has allocated a total of $6.5M to this round of funding, and MTI anticipates individual awards will not exceed $4M.