Last week the Biden administration announced the largest investment in America’s electrical infrastructure. This go around will include $3.46 billion in funds to strengthen and modernize the electric grid.
The announced funding, which is part of the Energy Department’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership, is the first amount of the more than $10 billion the Biden administration will spend to modernize the nation’s power grid.
“We’re pleased the Department of Energy has announced funding for these critical projects to strengthen our power grid, funded by President Biden’s historic infrastructure law,” Kenneth W. Cooper, IBEW International president, said. “IBEW members are already on the front lines powering and maintaining our nation’s energy infrastructure, and we have partnered with the Biden administration from its earliest days to ensure the jobs rebuilding and reinforcing the grid are the sort of middle class, family-sustaining jobs that President Biden speaks about all the time.”
The federal investment, which is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that President Biden signed in November 2021, will create jobs ranging from “enhancing grid resilience to withstand increasingly severe weather events to connecting customers with renewable power generated in isolated, rural areas,” according to a press release.
“The men and women of the IBEW are ready to get to work, and this announcement is a great step forward,” Cooper said.
According to the Department of Energy, the federal investment into the power grid will go to 58 projects in 44 states, including some 400 microgrids across the country.
“Right now, the U.S. electric grid is the largest connected machine in the world. It’s 5.7 million miles of transmission and distribution with about 55,000 substations,” Jennifer M. Granholm, secretary of the U.S. department of energy, said. “And it needs upgrading, clearly,” Granholm said.
Some of the $3.46 billion in funding will be put to inter-regional transmission projects. Improving electricity transmission lines is a priority in the United States and the world has to add or replace 49.7 million miles of transmission lines by 2040 to meet climate goals and achieve energy security priorities, the IEA said in a report.
″Every time you turn on a light, charge your laptop, plug in an air conditioner or put leftovers in the fridge, you rely on the electric grid, and that grid has been in need of upgrade for a very, very long period of time,” Mitch Landrieu, White House Infrastructure Implementation coordinator, said.