On 10 August, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the formation of two new program offices designed to support electric grid modernization and to target energy infrastructure investments at underserved communities. Together, the two offices will oversee $23 billion in federal investments authorized in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act signed into law last November.
According to Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm, the two programs reflect DOE’s commitment to “modernize and upgrade America’s energy infrastructure so that more families and communities can take hold of the benefits that clean, affordable and reliable energy sources offer.”
Grid Deployment Office
It has been projected that U.S. electricity transmission capacity must expand by 60% by 2030, and may need to triple by 2050, to connect more communities to cheaper, cleaner power and meet growing electricity needs.
The new Grid Deployment Office will invest $17 billion in programs and projects that bring together community and industry stakeholders to identify and address national transmission, distribution, and clean generation needs. In addition, the Grid Deployment Office will manage programs to keep nuclear power plants — which provide the biggest share of the country’s carbon-free electricity — from retiring if they can operate safely and reliably, and to support upgrading and modernizing hydropower facilities.
Office of State and Community Energy Programs
The Office of State and Community Energy Programs aims to significantly accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies to reduce energy costs for households and businesses, while catalyzing local economic development and creating high-quality jobs.
With nearly $6 billion on tap to fund grants for states, Tribal nations, territories, local governments, school districts, and nonprofits, DOE expects to invest in projects that reduce energy costs, as well as increase access to clean energy for low-income households, businesses, schools, nonprofits, and communities.
These funds will be distributed through an Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant Program, Local Government Energy Program, and Energy Futures Grant Program to further state- and community-led efforts to advance energy efficiency improvements and accelerate renewable energy deployment. These programs also work in concert with other DOE programs, such as the State Energy Program and the Weatherization Assistance Program.
For more information on these new DOE programs and related funding opportunities, visit:
DOE Grid Deployment Office
DOE Office of State and Community Energy Programs