DOE announces new funding opportunities for Grid Resiliency Program

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Key Takeaways

On November 18, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the availability of $3.8 billion through three separate grant opportunities under the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership (GRIP) Program. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the GRIP Program aims to bolster grid flexibility and resilience. Counties can apply directly to DOE for funding under the GRIP Program’s three grants – Grid Resilience Gants, Smart Grid Grants and Grid Innovation Program. Each grant has separate eligibilities, requirements and deadlines.  

Local governments play a critical role in responding to climate change and reducing national emission levels through the deployment of clean energy, among other initiatives. Many counties engage and partner with local utilities in energy planning, including utility-scale renewable energy projects, key regulatory issues, grid modernization, and storage and energy assurance strategies. Counties are dedicated to ensuring the security and reliability of the nation’s grid system and welcome the announcement of this funding opportunity.   

The three GRIP grant programs are:

Grid Resilience Utility and Industry Grants 

The funding announcement makes up to $918 million available for the Grid Resilience Utility and Industry Grants program. Grants awarded under the program will fund transmission and distribution technology projects that seek to address hazards within a region or a community that can disrupt the power system, such as wildfires, floods or hurricanes.  

Counties that serve as electric grid operators, electric storage operators, electricity generator, transmission owners or operators, distribution providers or fuel suppliers can apply directly to DOE for a Grid Resilience Utility and Industry Grant. There is a 100 percent federal cost share and grants are limited to the amount the applicant has spent on resilience within the last three years or $100 million, whichever is lower.  

Thirty percent of the funds made available for this grant are set aside for small utilities, which must provide a local match of one-third. 

Concept papers are due December 16, 2022. DOE will respond to concept papers in February 2023, with full applications due April 6, 2023.

Smart Grid Grants 

The funding announcement makes up to $1.08 million available for the Smart Grid Grants program. Grants awarded under the program will fund the deployment of technologies to bolster grid flexibility. Projects that seek to increase transmission capacity, mitigate wildfires, incorporate communications or cyber security or address load management or the electrification of ‘edge devices,’ such as electric vehicles or buildings, will be prioritized.   

Counties are directly eligible to apply to DOE for a Smart Grid Grant at a 50 percent federal cost share. Concept papers are due December 16, 2022. DOE will respond to concept papers in February 2023, with full applications due March 17, 2023.

Grid Innovation Program 

The funding announcement makes up to $1.8 billion available for the Grid Innovation Program. Grants awarded under the program will fund collaboration between local governments, states, Tribes and utility commissions and electric sector owners and operators to pursue innovative methods of transmission, storage and distribution to bolster grid resilience and reliability.  

Counties are directly eligible to apply to DOE for a Grid Innovation Program grant at a 50 percent federal share. Concept papers are due January 13, 2023. DOE will respond to concept papers in March 2023, with full applications due May 19, 2023.

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