Plus Power to construct 175 MW / 350 MWh energy storage in Maine


Battery energy storage system (BESS) developer Plus Power LLC is constructing Cross Town, the 350 MWh facility located at Gorham Industrial Park in Gorham, Maine, just outside of Portland.

The project is intended to enhance the New England grid, adding 175 MW of storage and stimulating a faster and more extensive integration of renewable energy into the six regional states. Plus Power also states that Cross Town will help Maine meet its decarbonization goals of generating 80% of its electricity from renewables by 2030, followed by 100% by 2050.

According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, as of September 2023, New England had about 330 MW of operational BESS, primarily comprised of small projects with up to 5 MW of storage. However, completing the Cross Town project pushes the Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-NE) a step closer to ensuring the region meets its reliability needs.

According to ISO-NE, these requirements are centered around ensuring the continuous build-out of transmission infrastructure to sustain power system reliability through scaling an efficient wholesale electricity marketplace.

ISO-NE’s Forward Capacity Market is a yearly auction that verifies that the New England power system will have enough electricity resources to meet future demands. It focuses on promoting economic investment in crucial supply and demand capacity resources needed three years in advance. Each year, suppliers compete to obtain a capacity supply obligation (CSO) for upcoming projects. Those who clear the auction, receive capacity payments in exchange for a commitment to provide resources when called upon.

In 2021, Cross Town cleared the ISO-NE Forward Capacity Market, securing a seven-year CSO to provide energy storage for ISO-NE. The site is located just outside of a flood plain, and Plus Power received a permit from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) stating that the project met applicable standards regarding the reduction of negative impacts on stormwater management, groundwater protection, infrastructure, wildlife and fisheries, noise, and unusual natural areas.

With approval from the Town of Gorham, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, MDEP, a National Resources Protection Act permit, among others, Plus Power began constructing Cross Town in Fall 2023. The site is expected to start commercial operation in Fall 2025.

This project is part of Plus Power’s growing portfolio of utility-scale lithium-ion BESS across 25 states and Canada. The company says it has 10 GW of interconnection capacity in transmission interconnection queues.

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