Image source: US Department of Energy

Biden administration launches $2.5 B power grid program

USA, Washington, D.C.: DOE seeks feedback on President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments to build stronger electricity grids resilient to climate change.

The Biden-Harris Administration through the US Department of Energy (DOE) has released a Request for Information seeking public input on the structure of a $2.5 B billon formula grant program to strengthen and modernize America’s power grid against wildfires, extreme weather, and other natural disasters exacerbated by the climate crisis. The new program, established by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and administered through DOE’s new Building a Better Grid Initiative, will assist States and Tribal nations with projects that create good-paying jobs to deliver clean, affordable, and reliable energy to everyone, everywhere, anytime. A reliable, resilient electric grid is critical for withstanding climate change impacts and to achieving President Biden’s goal of a national grid run on a 100 % clean electricity by 2035.

“There is no question that a modernized grid is the linchpin to President Biden’s goal of a nation powered by reliable, renewable clean energy,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grid investments will help provide the American people with resilient electricity generation regardless of a lightning strike or an extreme weather event.”

Power outages from severe weather have doubled over the past two decades across the USA and the frequency and length of power failures reached their highest levels since reliability tracking began in 2013 — with US customers on average experiencing more than eight hours of outages in 2020.

Infrastructure investments will help address these concerns by improving grid reliability and increasing resilience in the face of extreme weather events and natural disasters. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s program, Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid will provide grants based on a formula that includes, among other things, population size, land area, probability and severity of disruptive events, and a locality’s historical expenditures on mitigation efforts.

 

Source: US Department of Energy