US Invested $3.46 billion In Electric Grid Resilience Projects: US Department of Energy

Highlights :

  • The US President recently released the America Agenda Funds for investment in 58 projects across 44 states in the US, for grid resilience according to a report. The report adds that the agenda has announced $3.46 billion for these projects to strengthen electric grid resilience and reliability across America.
US Invested $3.46 billion In Electric Grid Resilience Projects: US Department of Energy US Announces $104 Million Investment Plan For New Net-Zero Facilities

US President Joe Biden recently released the America Agenda Funds for investment in 58 projects across 44 states in the US, for grid resilience, a report from the Department of Energy said. In the agenda, it has announced $3.46 billion grant for these projects to strengthen electric grid resilience and reliability across America.

This would strengthen the power grid against extreme weather and help deliver cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy to communities, the report adds. It means that this project would support union jobs in the utility sector across the country. This funding for these projects will create more than $8 billion in federal and private investments, the report suggests. Which means that through this investment, the US would ensure a reliable grid.

Program’s Objectives

These announcements of up to $3.46 billion are the first round of selections under the broader $10.5 billion GRIP program, states the report. This is one of the important tools that DOE (Department of Energy) is using to strengthen, diversify, and expand America’s power grid and would help in creating good-paying union jobs and building community climate resilience. With more than three-quarters of the projects selected have partnerships with the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)—helping deliver on the Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitious climate agenda, states the report. 

Selection Process:

The selections was announced for award negotiations under the GRIP Program for the projects in the following states:

Georgia: In Georgia, the Environmental Finance Authority and the Family of Companies support the Georgia electric cooperatives. The project seeks to develop smart grid infrastructure updates, to bring investments in battery storage, local microgrids, and grid reliability, as well as new transmission lines. The project will improve service reliability, decrease the frequency and duration of power outages, reduce energy bill strain on low-income households, and create more than 140 construction jobs.

Michigan: The report gives the example of Detroit, DTE Energy that will deploy adaptive networked microgrids, which have the capability to adapt to changing energy demands and supply conditions in real-time. This is especially applicable in extreme weather events. The microgrids will rely on new grid sensing and fault location devices and communication tools that will enhance reliability and reduce the number and total duration of outages in the microgrid areas, mentions the report. It further takes the example of Pennsylvania – in southeastern Pennsylvania.

According to report, the PECO Energy Company will increase grid reliability and resilience through substation flood mitigation, upgrading underground monitoring and control technologies, deploying battery systems for backup power, replacing aging infrastructure. 

In eastern Pennsylvania, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation will integrate distributed energy resources and enable real-time grid control to reduce outage duration and frequency, the report says. It further elaborates that by creating more than 200 new jobs, and boosting electric service would increase reliability for more than 800,000 people. In case of Pittsburgh, Duquesne Light Company will enhance system capacity to unlock clean energy generation and meet targets established in the state’s Climate Action Plan while also mitigating customer cost increases, growing high-quality job opportunities and training, and boosting equitable access to clean energy.

Oregon (PGE)” In the case of Portland General Electric (PGE)  there is a plan to also deploy an artificial intelligence-enabled, grid-edge computing platform to improve the connection of distributed energy resources, such as solar, as well as informed modeling that can predict pre-outage conditions and assist in real-time decisions.

Today’s announcement also includes several projects anchored by inter-regional collaboration that will expand transmission across multiple states. Examples include:  Joint Targeted Interconnection Queue Transmission Study Process and Portfolio (JTIQ) (Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, and South Dakota). This project will coordinate the comprehensive planning, design, and construction of five transmission projects across seven Midwest states.

The JTIQ process replaces the traditional interconnection study approach with a coordinated, long-range, interregional assessment states the studies. With multiple projects at once, rather than using sequential or uncoordinated timelines, creates transmission solutions for new renewable generation at a lower energy costs, and enhanced community engagement and workforce development, states the report. 

Wildfire Assessment and Resilience for Networks (WARN) (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming) –

Holy Cross Energy, in conjunction with NRECA Research, launched mitigation project with a consortium of 39 small, rural, not-for-profit electric co-ops in high-threat areas. The report says that, the project will enable members to improve their networks by deploying fire-resistant grid infrastructure, undergrounding lines, or upgrading overhead lines to reduce risk of catastrophic wildfires and to increase wildfire resilience.

With more than 75% of the involved project cooperatives, willing to sign commitments to advance high-quality jobs and local hiring, states the report. This would result in minimize environmental impact, and/or allocate benefits to disadvantaged communities, says the study. The impacted communities will have opportunities to provide feedback on the cooperative’s grid upgrade plan, and the project is committed to prioritizing contracts that advance good-paying jobs.

The GRIP funds announced today are complemented by DOE’s Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grant Program, which is awarding billions in non-competitive funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to states, territories, and Tribal entities to further strengthen and modernize the energy against extreme weather and natural disasters. In total, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests over $20 billion to upgrade America’s power grid

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