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Grid Modernization

DOE Makes up to $3.9 Billion Available for Grid Projects

The Biden-Harris Administration on Nov. 14 announced that up to $3.9 billion is available through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships Program.

DOE said that this funding opportunity, the second under the GRIP program, focuses on projects that will:

  • Improve electric transmission by increasing funding and advancing interconnection processes for faster build out of energy projects;
  • Create comprehensive solutions that link grid communications systems and operations to increase resilience and reduce power outages and threats; and
  • Deploy advanced technologies such as distributed energy resources and battery systems to provide essential grid services “to ensure American communities across the country have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity.”

Administered by the Grid Deployment Office and funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the GRIP program “enhances grid flexibility and resilience against growing threats of extreme weather and climate change while supporting meaningful community and labor engagement, investing in the American workforce, and advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility,” DOE said.

The GRIP program provides $10.5 billion over five years across three programs to accelerate the deployment of transformative projects that will help to ensure the reliability of the power sector’s infrastructure, DOE said.

On October 18, 2023, DOE announced up to $3.46 billion in the first round of GRIP funding, covering 58 projects across 44 states to strengthen electric grid resilience and reliability across America. A large number of public power utilities were recipients of the funding.

The second round funding opportunity unveiled on Nov. 14 will provide an investment of an additional $3.9 billion for Fiscal Years 2024 and 2025.

Successful projects will deploy federal funding to maximize grid infrastructure deployment at-scale and leverage private sector and non-federal public capital to advance deployment goals.

The GRIP programs are:

  • Grid Resilience Utility and Industry Grants (FY24/FY25 $918 million) fund comprehensive transmission and distribution technology solutions that will mitigate multiple hazards across a region or within a community. Grid Resilience Grant selections through the Funding Opportunity Announcement will focus on hardening infrastructure with digitization and automation; improving tools to restore power to the grid during outages; and investing in technologies to improve the efficiency of the grid, such as advanced conductoring and reconductoring.
  • Smart Grid Grants (FY24/FY25 $1.08 billion) increase the flexibility, efficiency, reliability, and resilience of the electric power system, with particular focus on increasing capacity of the transmission system, improving interconnection processes to accelerate clean energy build out, integrating renewable energy at the transmission and distribution levels, and facilitating the electrification of vehicles, buildings, and other grid-edge devices. Smart grid grants selections through the FOA will expand opportunities to deploy transmission, specifically advanced conductors, high-voltage direct current, and grid enhancing technologies, as well as more rapid processing of interconnection applications and minimizing queue-related delays for clean energy at both the transmission and distribution levels.
  • Grid Innovation Program (FY24/FY25 $1.82 billion) provides financial assistance to one or multiple states, Tribes, local governments, and public utility commissions to collaborate with electric grid owners and operators to deploy projects that use innovative approaches to transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure to enhance grid resilience and reliability. Selections in this program through the FOA will include transmission projects to support remote clean energy generation, improve interregional interconnection, and that use innovative technologies or execution approaches, DOE said. The program will also prioritize projects that provide scalability, replicability, and innovation in the distribution space like district electrification, grid and resilience services from distributed energy resources, and battery energy storage systems.

Concept Papers

Concept papers are a required first step in the application process and are due at 5:00 p.m. ET on January 12, 2024.

A public webinar will be held at 3:00 p.m. ET on November 20, 2023, to provide additional information. Registration is required.

In addition, to facilitate the formation of project teams, DOE will provide a Teaming Partner List for this cycle to allow organizations that may wish to participate on a project to express their interest to other applicants and explore potential partnerships.

Instructions to join the Teaming Partner List will be provided in the funding announcement and will be regularly updated to reflect new teaming partners who provide their organization's information.

Learn more at the Grid Deployment Office website.

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