According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), Arkansas will receive more than $10 million in federal funding to prevent electric outages and improve the resilience of the electric grid, through the Grid Enhancement Grant program seeking to strengthen and modernize America’s power grid against wildfires, extreme weather and other natural disasters.
While the grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for the first year will be $5.16 million, an additional $5.14 million is secured for the second year.
“We will work closely with our partners to establish the process through which the grants will be distributed,” said Becky Keogh, Infrastructure Coordinator for the state of Arkansas. “As Arkansans continue to recover from the March tornadoes along with other major weather events, we have a great opportunity to enhance our grid going forward.”
Various electric grid operators, electricity storage operators, electricity generators, transmission owners or operators, distribution providers and fuel suppliers are expected to qualify for the grant accompanied by projects like weatherization technologies and equipment, fire-resistant technologies and fire prevention systems, undergrounding of electrical equipment, utility pole management, relocation of power lines and adaptive protection technologies.
DFA will not only manage the application process but also utilize guidance from the Department of Energy in order to maximize benefits to Arkansas residents.
“In addition to the initial $10 million, we anticipate more funding will be made available through the Grid Enhancement Grant program,” said DFA Secretary, Jim Hudson.