US DoE unveils grid upgrade initiative backed with USD 20bn

Author: Oran Viriyincy. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

January 13 (Renewables Now) - The US Department of Energy (DoE) on Wednesday launched an initiative to upgrade and expand the US power transmission grid to help achieve US president Joe Biden’s target of 100% clean electricity by 2035.

The initiative, called Building a Better Grid and enabled by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also aims to make the country's aging grid more reliable and resilient to climate change impacts.

Under the programme, DoE will work with community and industry stakeholders to identify national transmission needs and support the construction of long-distance, high voltage transmission lines. It will leverage more than USD 20 billion (EUR 17.6bn) in federal financing tools to back the grid upgrades. These include the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s new USD- 2.5 billion Transmission Facilitation Programme, USD-3-billion expansion of the Smart Grid Investment Grant Programme and over USD 10 billion in grants for states, tribes and utilities for grid improvements.

DoE will also use existing tools such as the more than USD-3-billion Western Area Power Administration Transmission Infrastructure Programme and a number of loan guarantee programmes.

The department cited independent estimates according to which the electricity transmission systems will need to be expanded by 60% by 2030 and possibly tripled by 2050. It also said that the interconnection queue waiting times for clean energy and storage projects are growing amid accelerated use of renewable electricity.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.880)

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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