Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced $3.46 billion for 58 projects across 44 states to strengthen electric grid resilience and reliability.
The funding, which is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help bring more than 35 gigawatts of new renewable energy online, invest in 400 microgrids, and maintain and create union jobs with three out of four projects partnering with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), according to a DOE press conference.
“Today’s announcement represents the largest-ever direct investment in critical grid infrastructure, supporting projects that will harden systems, improve energy reliability and affordability—all while generating union jobs for highly skilled workers,” Granholm said.
The announcements of up to $3.46 billion represent a first round of selections under the broader $10.5 billion Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program, which is managed by the DOE’s Grid Deployment Office.
The DOE provided these examples to show the kind of projects this funding will back:
- Georgia – The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and the Family of Companies that supports the Georgia electric cooperatives will collaborate on a transformative project to benefit communities across the state through increased reliability and lower costs with an estimated investment of more than $507 million. The project will make a comprehensive smart grid infrastructure update, through investments in battery storage, local microgrids, and grid reliability, as well as new transmission lines.
- Louisiana – Two projects will focus on better positioning disadvantaged communities to withstand extreme weather. The state of Louisiana will launch a strategic initiative with 15 government entities, energy companies, and community and academic institutions to enhance statewide emergency response operations by deploying a network of Community Resilience Hubs powered by distributed energy resources microgrids. These microgrids can stand alone or integrate with utility-owned electric grid infrastructure and back-up generation assets. Under a separate project, Entergy New Orleans will enhance the local grid’s resilience to severe weather, including hardening existing transmission lines and distribution systems to reduce outage frequency and duration. It will also deploy a battery backup project that will reduce energy bills for disadvantaged communities.
- Michigan – In Detroit and its surrounding service territory, DTE Energy. will deploy adaptive networked microgrids, which have the capability to adapt to changing energy demands and supply conditions in real-time, especially after 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. Consumers Energy will build out much-needed infrastructure investments in some of Michigan’s most historically underinvested communities. The project will work to upgrade the backbone of Consumers’ circuit systems and increase capacity at local substations to better support redundancy and reliability in disadvantaged communities.
- Pennsylvania – In southeastern Pennsylvania, 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, and installing advanced conductors to increase grid capacity. In eastern Pennsylvania, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation will integrate distributed energy resources and enable real-time grid control to reduce outage duration and frequency, create more than 200 new jobs, and boost electric service reliability for more than 800,000 people. In 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 – Multiple projects across Oregon will connect vast amounts of clean energy to customers and create union jobs. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon and Portland General Electric (PGE) will upgrade transmission capacity and connect PGE customers with the currently isolated renewable resources east of the Cascade Mountains, including those on the Warm Springs Reservation—building a bridge to up to 1,800 MW of carbon-free solar resources. PGE will 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 decisions. PacifiCorp will update infrastructure for fire resistance and prevention in Oregon and neighboring states, reducing outages and risks, while also improving flood resilience and creating hundreds of training and employment opportunities in partnership with the IBEW.
The projects will also foster inter-regional collaboration on transmission grid upgrades that link 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 that studies multiple projects at once, rather than in sequential or uncoordinated timelines, resulting in scalable transmission solutions, new renewable generation, lower energy costs, and enhanced community engagement and workforce development.
- 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 and Wyoming) – Holy Cross Energy, in conjunction with NRECA Research, will launch a wildfire mitigation project with a consortium of 39 small, rural, not-for-profit electric co-ops in high-threat areas. The project will enable members to harden 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.