Biden-Harris Admin Launches $10.5 Billion Investment to Strengthen America’s Power Grid

WASHINGTON- The US Department of Energy (DOE) yesterday issued a request for information (RFI) seeking input on the $10.5 billion Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership program to improve the resilience and reliability of America’s electric grid. The RFI is seeking input from states, tribes, communities, utilities, project developers and other key stakeholders to help refine the funding opportunity announcement that will be made later this year and to guide the implementation of funding for five years to improve the electric grid in support of President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act. These programs will accelerate the deployment of transformative projects that will help ensure the reliability of the energy sector’s infrastructure so that all American communities have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity anytime, anywhere, while helping to achieve the goal of the President for 100% clean electricity by 2035.

“DOE is taking rapid steps toward upgrading the nation’s electric grid to provide American households with more reliable and affordable electricity that comes from a more diverse array of clean energy sources,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law invests in improving and expanding transmission and distribution systems across the country, lowering energy costs and creating good-paying jobs.”

The bipartisan infrastructure law includes a historic investment to upgrade transmission and distribution systems to improve grid reliability and resiliency and to facilitate the deployment of clean energy across the country. Today’s announcement represents a key step in implementing DOE’s coordinated grid strategy outlined in the Building a Better Grid initiative to upgrade the nation’s grid infrastructure, connect more communities to cheaper and cleaner energy, ensure that the grid can withstand extreme weather conditions and meet the expanding electricity needs in various sectors.

Administered through DOE’s new Office of Grid Deployment, the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership program is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and will improve grid resiliency and enhance the power system’s resilience against the growing threats of extreme weather and climate change. The three programs are:

  • Grid Resilience Grants ($2.5 billion) supporting activities that will modernize the electricity grid to reduce impacts due to extreme weather and natural disasters. This program will fund comprehensive transformational technology solutions for transmission and distribution that will mitigate multiple hazards in a region or in a community, including wildfires, floods, hurricanes, extreme heat, extreme cold, storms and any other event that can cause disruption of an energy system. This program provides grants to electricity grid operators, electricity storage operators, electricity generators, transmission owners or operators, distribution providers and fuel suppliers.
  • Smart Grid Grants ($3 billion) increasing the flexibility, efficiency and reliability of the electricity system, with special emphasis on increasing the capacity of the transmission system, preventing breakdowns that could lead to wildfires or other system disturbances, integrating renewable energy at the transmission and distribution levels, and facilitating the integration of an increasing number of electrified vehicles, buildings and other networked devices. Smart grid technologies funded and deployed at scale under this program will demonstrate a path to wider market adoption. This grant program has broad eligibility, open to local entities, including higher education institutions; legal entities with a business purpose; non-profit organizations; and state and local government entities and tribal nations.
  • Grid Innovation Program ($5 billion) provides financial assistance to one or more states, tribes, local governments, and public service commissions to collaborate with electric sector owners and operators to implement projects that use innovative approaches to transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure to improve resiliency and reliability on the network. Broad project applications are of interest, including interregional transmission projects, investments that accelerate the interconnection of clean energy generation, use of distribution network assets to provide backup power and reduce transmission requirements, and more. Innovative approaches can range from using modern technologies to innovative partnerships to implementing projects identified through innovative planning processes to many others.

DOE expects to release the final funding opportunity announcement for FY22 and FY23 funding, which will request concept papers and applications, later this year.

DOE is requesting feedback through the RFI on the proposed implementation strategy for these three programs. Comments must be received by October 14, 2022 by 5:00 p.m. EDT and may be emailed to [email protected]

Originally published on the US DOE website.


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