OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:57 PM – Thursday, October 19, 2023
In an effort to “increase dependability and prevent capacity shortages or blackouts during extreme weather events,” the Biden administration announced an investment of around $3.5 billion on Wednesday to upgrade U.S. electricity systems.
According to White House officials, the allotted funds made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the most expensive direct investment in essential grid infrastructure in the United States to date.
It will ultimately bring 35 gigawatts of renewable energy online by funding 58 different projects spread across 44 states in the United States.
Additionally, by developing interregional transmission, which enables the area to export available capacities to other regions of the nation in the event of a shortfall, the funds will help strengthen grid dependability.
The administration claims that the funding will also assist in bringing more renewable energy projects online and will support Western states becoming more resilient to wildfires.
The investment comes at a time when millions of people are said to be at risk of rolling blackouts or prolonged outages due to winter storms and high temperatures.
White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu emphasized the value of making investments in the U.S. power grid to reporters during a preview event on Wednesday.
“Our outdated grid is especially vulnerable to the increasing impacts of the climate crisis,” Landrieu said. “Older equipment can overload during extreme heat and cold when power is needed most. And it’s more likely to fail when communities are washed out by historic floods and decimated by stronger storms.”
According to White House officials, the funds are handled by the DOE’s system Resilience and Innovation Partnerships, or “GRIP” program, which aims to upgrade the American electricity system and lessen the consequences of extreme weather events and natural disasters.
In keeping up with the administration’s clean energy and carbon reduction ambitions, its objectives include expanding the amount of renewable energy sources added to the grids and boosting dependability through the use of “innovative” methods for the transmission, storage, and distribution of power.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stated on Wednesday that this involves incorporating additional renewable projects that the administration is in favor of.
“The grid, as it currently sits, is not is not equipped to handle all the new demand,” she told reporters.
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