The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Aug. 30 issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input on the $10.5 billion Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership Program.
The RFI seeks information from states, Tribes, communities, utilities, project developers, and other key stakeholders to help refine the funding opportunity announcement that will be made later this year and to guide the implementation of the funding over five years to enhance the electric grid in support of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“These programs will accelerate the deployment of transformative projects that will help to ensure the reliability of the power sector’s infrastructure, so all American communities have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity anytime, anywhere while helping deliver on the President’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035,” DOE said.
The three programs are:
- Grid Resilience Grants ($2.5 billion): These grants support activities that will modernize the electric grid to reduce impacts due to extreme weather and natural disasters. This program will fund comprehensive transformational transmission and distribution technology solutions that will mitigate multiple hazards across a region or within a community, including wildfires, floods, hurricanes, extreme heat, extreme cold, storms, and any other event that can cause a disruption to the power system. This program provides grants to electric grid operators, electricity storage operators, electricity generators, transmission owners or operators, distribution providers, and fuel suppliers.
- Smart Grid Grants ($3 billion): These grants will increase the flexibility, efficiency, and reliability of the electric power system, with particular focus on increasing capacity of the transmission system, preventing faults that may lead to wildfires or other system disturbances, integrating renewable energy at the transmission and distribution levels, and facilitating the integration of increasing electrified vehicles, buildings, and other grid-edge devices. Smart grid technologies funded and deployed at scale under this program will demonstrate a pathway to wider market adoption. This grant program has broad eligibility, open to domestic entities including institutions of higher education; for-profit entities; non-profit entities; and state and local governmental entities, and tribal nations.
- Grid Innovation Program ($5 billion): This program provides financial assistance to one or multiple states, Tribes, local governments, and public utility commissions to collaborate with electric sector owners and operators to deploy projects that use innovative approaches to transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure to enhance grid resilience and reliability. Broad project applications are of interest including interregional transmission projects, investments that accelerate interconnection of clean energy generation, utilization of distribution grid assets to provide backup power and reduce transmission requirements, and more. Innovative approaches can range from use of advanced technologies to innovative partnerships to the deployment of projects identified by innovative planning processes to many others.
DOE expects to release the final Funding Opportunity Announcement for FY22 and FY23 funding that will solicit concept papers and applications later this year.
DOE is requesting feedback through the RFI on the proposed implementation strategy for these three programs. Comments must be received by October 14, 2022, by 5 p.m. EDT and can be submitted by emailing [email protected].