The U.S. Department of Energy has opened the first round of applications for $13 billion in competitive funding for projects it says will help reduce electricity costs, boost resiliency and build out the nation’s aging transmission system.
Roughly 70% of the nation’s transmission lines are more than a quarter century old, the White House said in a Friday statement.
There is $10.5 billion available for competitive grants under DOE’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership, or GRIP, programs and $2.5 billion through the Transmission Facilitation Program. Both programs were funded by President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law, and together they “represent the largest single direct federal investment in critical transmission and distribution infrastructure,” the White House said.
Within the GRIP programs, there is $2.5 billion for grid resilience grants, $3 billion for smart grid grants and $5 billion for grid innovation efforts. Concept papers are due Dec. 16 for smart grid and resilience funding applications and Jan. 13 for the innovation proposals. The first submission deadline for the transmission facilitation program is Feb. 1.
Full applications for the smart grid, grid resilience and innovation programs will be due in March, April and May, respectively.
DOE is “moving swiftly” to build a modern and reliable electric grid, said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.
According to the agency, the U.S. needs to expand electricity transmission systems by 60% by 2030 “and may need to triple current capacity by 2050.” The Biden administration has advanced billions of dollars in clean energy incentives through the bipartisan infrastructure law, passed last year, as well as the Inflation Reduction Act, which the president signed in August.
DOE said the first round of funding for the GRIP programs includes $3.8 billion for fiscal years 2022 and 2023. The agency is planning a webinar on Nov. 29 to provide additional information about the GRIP funding opportunity and a Nov. 30 webinar to discuss the transmission program.