DoE Makes $3.5B Electric Grid Investment, Largest Ever to Date

The US Department of Energy (DoE) recently unveiled a $3.5 billion investment across 44 states to improve the national electric grid. 

The US Department of Energy (DoE) recently unveiled a $3.46 billion for 58 projects across 44 states to strengthen electric grid resilience and reliability across America. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these projects will leverage more than $8 billion in federal and private investments to deliver affordable, clean electricity and ensure that communities have a reliable grid that is prepared for extreme weather worsened by the climate crisis. These transformative projects benefit disadvantaged communities, help bring more than 35 gigawatts of new renewable energy online, and invest in 400 microgrids.”

The Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program, managed by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office (GDO), funds activities to modernize the electric grid to reduce impacts of natural disasters and extreme weather worsened by climate change; increase the flexibility, efficiency, and reliability of the electric power system with a particular focus on unlocking more solar, wind, and other clean energy and reducing faults that may lead to wildfires; and improve reliability by deploying innovative approaches to electricity transmission, storage, and distribution. The investment of $3.46 billion represents a first round of selections under the broader $10.5 billion GRIP Program, which itself is one of several tools that DOE is using to strengthen, diversify, and expand America’s power grid and build community climate resilience.

Investment in Maryland:

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative’s (SMECO) community is particularly vulnerable to outages resulting from severe weather due to its heavily wooded areas. To improve the resilience and reliability of its system, SMECO will implement multiple projects to harden and protect the system. These projects include replacing and hardening transmission lines with new steel structures, strategic undergrounding, and installing high-capacity fiber optical wire for communications. This will upgrade and modernize vital grid infrastructure to increase resilience; harden the grid system against known threats, including those exacerbated by the effects of climate change; provide benefits to the community; and ensure environmentally sound practices in protected wetlands.

Federal cost share: $33,567,016

Recipient cost share: $15,642,000

Learn more about the Grid Deployment Office and the GRIP Program.

MACo Winter Conference

At the 2023 MACo Winter Conference general session, “Leveraging Federal Infrastructure Funds: A Conversation with MDOT“,  MDOT representatives will provide an overview of its resources to support county grant submissions and will preview upcoming federal discretionary grant opportunities of interest to Maryland counties in the calendar year 2024.

MACo’s Winter Conference, “Eye of the Storm,” is scheduled for December 6-8, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, MD. More information can be found on our conference website.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: