Powering Strong Communities

DOE Awards Funds to States, Tribal Nations and the District of Columbia for Grid Projects

The Department of Energy on June 16 announced that seven states, three tribal nations, and the District of Columbia were selected as the second cohort to receive more than $77 million in grid resilience state and tribal formula grants.

The grants will help modernize the electric grid “to reduce impacts of extreme weather and natural disasters while also ensuring power sector reliability,” DOE said.

Over the next five years, the Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants will distribute a total of $2.3 billion to states, Territories, and federally recognized tribes, including Alaska Native Regional Corporations and Alaska Native Village Corporations, based on a formula that includes factors such as population size, land area, probability and severity of disruptive events, and a locality’s historical expenditures on mitigation efforts.

The states, Territories, and tribes “will then award these funds to complete a diverse set of projects, with priority given to efforts that generate the greatest community benefit while providing clean, affordable, and reliable energy,” DOE said.

With respect to the states and tribes awarded funding for fiscal years (FY) 22 and 23 in the June 16 announcement, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana will use funding to develop distributed energy resources that provide grid resilience during disruptive events and allow the Tribal community to capture energy savings, generate revenue for reinvestment into the community, and control its energy future. Selected projects will strengthen the community through partnerships with training providers and strong labor standards and protections. The amount awarded is $711,000.

The District of Columbia will work to deploy battery energy storage systems, microgrids, and other grid solutions. Deploying advanced system monitoring and control devices will provide opportunities for demand side-management and virtual power plants. (Amount: $3 million)

Hawaii plans to deploy projects that benefit disadvantaged communities in a measurable way while engaging community leadership and residents. To execute these plans, the Hawaii State Energy Office created a new Community Engagement and Public Affairs branch which will support the Hawaii Grid Resiliency Program. (Amount: $6.1 million)

Idaho will deploy resilience investments to demonstrate measurable improvements to grid resilience, deliver modernized grid infrastructure, and accommodate increased electrification, while addressing hazards from extreme weather. Projects selected through the program will encourage consumer engagement and enforce strong labor standards and protections that prioritize the local workforce. (Amount: $9.3 million)

Indiana aims to improve the resilience of the state’s electric grid against natural disasters and ensure the availability of power to critical community services, such as public safety, communications, medical, and transportation systems during disasters. Grant funding will be invested in projects that demonstrate a commitment to attract, train, and retain a diverse, highly skilled, and well-paid workforce. 
(Amount: $9.2 million)

Iowa aims to undertake preventive actions to strengthen the grid against severe weather and improve asset management through evaluation and monitoring. Selected projects will facilitate faster service restoration, while expanding opportunities for a skilled workforce to secure and retain quality jobs. 
(Amount: $11.8 million)

The Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut will work to ensure that critical community facilities and the operation of essential programs and services are protected from disruptive events and extreme weather. Selected projects will address outdated and failing monitoring and control technology infrastructure and build the Tribal workforce by ensuring that any new resilience measures can be operated and maintained by Tribal members and tribal employees. (Amount: $317,000)

Nevada will focus on equitably sharing the burdens and benefits of energy production and consumption, while reducing the likelihood and consequence of disruptive events. (Amount: $10.5 million)

Pennsylvania will work to protect urban and rural communities from the consequences of disruptive events on critical grid infrastructure by integrating grid resilience solutions that primarily benefit underserved and disadvantaged communities. Selected projects will improve the health of residents by deploying energy projects that reduce air emissions and greenhouse gases, and promote workforce benefits, including strong labor standards and protections. (Amount: $16.2 million)

The Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians in California will fund activities that increase resilience to the effects of wildfires and support electric production during planned and unplanned regional power outages. Selected projects will also increase the tribe’s skilled workforce that implements activities to increase resilience against the wildfires. Projects will also advance the economic vitality of the tribe. (Amount: $266,000)

Wisconsin will invest in the modernization and hardening of Wisconsin’s electric grid to protect it from current and future threats. Selected projects will increase the skilled workforce, demonstrate partnerships with training providers, including registered apprenticeships and other joint labor-management training programs, and improve the total number of contractors trained to operate and maintain eligible resilience projects, with a particular emphasis on disadvantaged communities. (Amount: $10.2 million)

These recipients are the second cohort to receive funding under the Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants, administered by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office.

Additional awards will be announced on a rolling basis in the coming weeks and months as applications are received.

The FY 22 and FY 23 application deadline for Indian tribes, including Alaska Native Corporations, is August 31, 2023, at 11:59 pm ET (with a mail-in option post-marked by this date).