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California receives $67 million grant for electric grid resiliency

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California has been awarded $67 million to enhance the physical resilience of the state’s electric grid against extreme weather and natural disasters that impact its ability to provide affordable and reliable energy.

The funding comes from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Joe Biden in 2021.

The Power On Act championed by Senator Alex Padilla which provided the template for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, includes funding through the Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants.

Grants can only be used to strengthen existing infrastructure, technologies, and equipment to address the current and projected impact of extreme weather, wildfires or any other natural disaster. They can be used for research, development, demonstration and commercial application activities to improve the resilience of the electric grid.

“I’m proud that the critical funding secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, modeled off of my POWER ON Act, has brought home millions of dollars that will help California avoid shut-offs and keep the lights on,” said Senator Padilla.

A total of $2.3 billion will be available over the next five years through the grant program. Projects demonstrating the ability to provide clean, affordable and reliable energy for the greatest community benefit will be prioritized.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act creates a new Grid Deployment Authority “to provide electricity to everyone, everywhere by maintaining and investing in critical generation facilities” and ensuring resilience to hydroelectric and nuclear facilities while developing high-capacity electric transmission lines nationwide.

“As once-in-a-generation weather events test the resiliency of our grid, these life-saving investments will ensure families – especially ones in disadvantaged communities – are not left in the dark,” Padilla affirmed.

While the grant does not support new construction it authorizes $100,000,000 annually for fiscal years 2022 through 2026.

“Renewable energy has helped many parts of the country withstand a crippling heat dome, and the President’s Investing in America agenda will increase the amount of clean power sources available on the nation’s grid,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These grants will help modernize the electric grid to reduce impacts of extreme weather and natural disasters while enhancing power sector reliability.”

California will use its funding , the highest of any endowed state this year, on selected projects that advance the state’s goal of achieving 100% clean energy that reduce fossil fuel reliance.

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