The Biden-Harris administration is announcing the largest-ever investment in America’s grid with $3.5 billion in funding for 58 projects across 44 states, which will enable more than 35 gigawatts of renewable energy on the grid.
Additionally, eighty-four percent of the projects announced today already have labor partnerships, which will mean more good jobs. Three out of four of the projects are partnering with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
Much of America’s grid was built over a century ago. This fact, coupled with the impacts of climate change, means an update is not only necessary but long past due. This update is being funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, but will ultimately leverage more than $8 billion in federal and private investments will create a “tidal wave” of clean energy, according to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, who was speaking from Locust Grove, Georgia.
“I just want to underscore that this round alone is the largest ever investment in America’s grid,” Granholm said in a call with reporters on which PoliticusUSA participated. “And it’s going to enable more than 35 gigawatts of renewable energy on the grid. And obviously, it will also boost the current renewable capacity as well by more than 10% within this decade, and it’ll deliver three of my favorite things. Jobs, jobs and more jobs. In fact, 84% of the projects that are being announced today have labor partnerships.”
This will include an investment in 400 microgrids that serve critical facilities like hospitals, emergency centers, and shelters. They are investing in these microgrids in New York, Michigan Tennessee, and Louisiana they’re investing. In the western states, they’re deploying “cutting edge satellite monitoring” to identify and address threats like wildfires, and in states like Louisiana, Florida, and Hawaii, they’re hardening the grid against extreme weather so when disaster strikes it’s possible to limit outages and restore power more quickly.
This is round one. The next round will be opened before the end of the year. This project is part of Biden’s Sisyphean goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.
One hundred percent of these “GRIP” (Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships) Program projects have community benefits, as they are part of Biden’s Justice40 Initiative to benefit disadvantaged communities, senior administration officials told us. For example, in Georgia, they are specifically targeted at remote, rural and often underserved communities.
The selections for award negotiations announced on Wednesday include projects in states like Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Oregon and inter-regional collaborations across multiple states like the “The JTIQ Process” which includes Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, and South Dakota and the Wildfire Assessment and Resilience for Networks (WARN) which includes Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
There is even a project entirely in Texas, based in San Antonio, with an additional four selections, including multi-state projects, that will impact Texas as well.
“I am very proud, as I said to be with Secretary Granholm to announce the largest investment in electric grid infrastructure in our country’s history, nearly $3.5 billion to 58 projects in 44 states across the country,” White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator, Mitch Landrieu said on the call.
“Now, what exactly does that mean to the American people? It means that a grandfather in Arizona will be able to cool his home during deadly summer. A working mom and Georgia won’t have to work about a fridge full of food and medicine spoiling and how to afford to replace it. A small business owner in North Carolina will not suffer power outages that cost thousands of dollars in lost inventory. And that’s because our grid provides electricity to homes, businesses, schools and hospitals across the country.”
While chaos reigns in the U.S. House, the Biden-Harris administration is still hard at work trying to improve this country, including using the funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strengthen our grid and push for renewable energy. There’s a possibility permitting legislation might be delayed given the chaos on the Hill. These projects involve the government working with private entities. (President Biden is out of the country having just given remarks in Israel after the terrorist attacks of October 7th.)
You can learn more about these program projects here.
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Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.