How the Historic Billion Dollar Initiative by the Biden-Harris Administration will Modernize America’s Electric Grid
In the aftermath of numerous natural disasters and unpredicted dangerous weather events, the lack of a solid and resilient electricity grid has been proven to millions of Americans. Due to years of underinvestment, the degradation of America’s electric grid has become apparent. Billions of dollars have now been allocated to remedy this serious problem affecting so many people.
This historic investment, called the Resilience and Innovation Partnership Program, comprises three parts. The first of these initiatives is the Grid Resilience Grants, which improve electricity providers’ capability to withstand wildfires, floods, hurricanes, extreme heat, extreme cold, storms, and any event that could disrupt access to electricity. The grants are worth $2.5 billion dollars and are for electric grid operators, electricity storage operators, electricity generators, transmission owners or operators, distribution providers, and fuel suppliers.
The second initiative is the Smart Grid Grants, worth $3.5 billion dollars, which enhance the electric power system’s flexibility, efficiency, and reliability. This initiative emphasizes increasing the electric system’s capacity, preventing faults that may lead to wildfires, integrating renewable energy at transmission and distribution levels, and helping to facilitate the integration of electric vehicles, buildings, and other grid-edge devices. This program has broad eligibility, with higher-level education institutions being eligible, along with for-profit organizations, non-profit organizations, state and local government entities, and tribal nations.
The third initiative is the Grid Innovation Program, worth $5 billion dollars, which provides assistance to state and local governments, tribal nations, and public utility service providers to work with electric sector owners and operators to deploy projects that use innovative technologies and solutions to improve grid resiliency and reliability. Wider project applications include interregional transmission projects and acceleration of interconnectivity in clean energy generation.
In the wake of Hurricane Dorian and Lorenzo, along with the 2021 Texas power crisis, what is showing to be true in our new world is that climate change and its unpredictable damage are proving to be a major challenge for America’s outdated and unreliable energy grid. Hopefully, with these programs and more, power systems will be set up to support Americans for decades.