- Published: 14 January 2022 14 January 2022
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched the “Building a Better Grid” Initiative to catalyse the nationwide development of new and upgraded high-capacity electric transmission lines, as enabled by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Building a Better Grid will work with community and industry stakeholders to identify national transmission needs and support the buildout of long-distance, high voltage transmission facilities. This program will make the U.S. power grid more resilient to the impacts of climate change, increase access to affordable and reliable clean energy, and create good-paying American jobs across industry sectors – boosting transmission jobs which employs over one million workers across the country.
Independent estimates indicate that the USA needs to expand electricity transmission systems by 60% by 2030, and may need to triple it by 2050.
Building a Better Grid will support the development of nationally significant transmission projects and grid upgrades by:
- Engaging and collaborating early with states, tribal nations, and stakeholders to accelerate transmission deployment.
- Enhancing transmission planning to identify areas of greatest need such as high-priority national transmission needs and conducting longer-term national-scale transmission planning analysis.
- Deploying more than $20 billion in federal financing tools, including through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s new $2.5 billion Transmission Facilitation Program, $3 billion expansion of the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program, and more than $10 billion in grants for states, Tribes, and utilities to enhance grid resilience and prevent power outages, and through existing tools, including the more than $3 billion Western Area Power
- Administration Transmission Infrastructure Program, and a number of loan guarantee programs through the Loan Programs Office.
- Facilitating an efficient transmission permitting process by coordinating with federal agencies to streamline permitting, using public private partnerships, and designating corridors.
- Performing transmission-related research and development to continue developing and reducing the costs of technologies that enable the transmission system to be used more efficiently.