In a significant announcement made on Wednesday, the Biden Administration unveiled a comprehensive plan to bolster the nation’s electric grid, apparently in response to the strain posed by natural disasters.
The Department of Energy announced on Wednesday that it would funnel $3.46 billion toward upgrading the country’s aging electric grid — its largest-ever investment in that part of the US’ energy network. https://t.co/C4dEZvMi7c
— grist (@grist) October 18, 2023
The current administration is committed to investing a substantial $3.5 billion into a network of 58 energy projects spread across the country, which is intended to fortify the electric grid, which according to them, has been grappling with challenges presented by “natural disasters” like the wildfires in Maui and California.
Jennifer Granholm, the Energy Secretary, underscored the historic scale of this federal investment in the grid’s infrastructure.
She asserted that the projects supported by this funding will enhance the resilience, reliability, and affordability of the energy grid, making it better equipped to handle surging demand and withstand the onslaught of natural disasters exacerbated by climate change.
During a news conference, Granholm emphasized the need for a more substantial, robust, and smarter grid, aligning with the administration’s ambitious goal of achieving 100% “clean energy” by 2035.
This substantial investment is funneled through the Department of Energy under the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program which is set to promote energy sources such as solar and wind. The objective is to enhance the adaptability and efficiency of electric power systems nationwide.
Among the projects earmarked for funding, a $249 million endeavor in rural areas of Georgia and Louisiana seeks to enhance the energy grid. Additionally, a Native American tribe in Oregon will receive $250 million to support their energy infrastructure.
Notably, the largest allocation of funds, totaling $464 million, is dedicated to improving five transmission projects in seven Midwestern states, spanning from Iowa to North Dakota. Funding will also give $95 million to Hawaii, aiding the state in its recovery from the devastating fires that swept through Maui earlier this year.
Further, $150 million is set aside for PacifiCorp, aimed at improving the grid and implementing wildfire mitigation measures in California, Oregon, Utah, and other Western states.
However, it’s essential to address the genuine concerns raised regarding the spending of such an exorbitant amount of money during economic inflation, who are understandably worried about the potential tax increases that will be necessary to back these projects — especially when the majority of American households are financially struggling.