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Industry Insights

A Historic Investment in the American Power Grid

Electrified, American Power Grid

While utilities and cities have a long road ahead as they navigate the impacts of climate disruption, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) allocation of up to $10.5 billion toward grid modernization efforts is a significant step in the right direction. The DOE’s announcement of Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) funding for utilities marks the largest direct investment in American grid infrastructure to date. The program is expected to contribute to 58 projects across 44 states with one goal in mind: strengthening the electric grid. 

What is GRIP?
On behalf of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Grid Deployment Office is administering funding to enhance grid flexibility and improve its resilience as challenges including extreme weather, climate change, overpopulation and more continue to impact utilities. The DOE will allocate this funding to initiatives that accelerate the deployment of grid infrastructure-related projects, ensuring communities across the nation have access to affordable, clean electricity from a reliable and resilient grid.

Grip Funding Opportunities

The $3.5 billion in GRIP program investments are divided into three funding categories:

  • Topic Area 1: Grid Resilience Utility and Industry Grants. This program will support activities that modernize the electric grid to reduce impacts from extreme weather and natural disasters. Eligible projects include transmission and distribution technology solutions deployed to mitigate hazards such as wildfires, floods, extreme heat, extreme cold, storms, etc.
  • Topic Area 2: Smart Grid Grants. According to the DOE, this funding will enhance the electric power system by boosting transmission capacity, preventing faults that lead to wildfires and other disruptions, incorporating renewable energy into both transmission and distribution, as well as facilitating electrification.
  • Topic Area 3: Grid Innovation Program. This program provides financial assistance to states, Tribes, local governments, and/or public utility commissions to collaborate with electric sector owners and operators on the deployment of innovative projects related to transmission, storage and distribution infrastructure.
 
GRIP Funding Recipients
Itron would like to congratulate all recipients of the first round of GRIP funding:  

Grid resilience Utility and Industry Grants

Smart Grid Grants

Grid Innovation Program

Itron is committed to being a trusted advisor and supported many customers in the pursuit of funding, including Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Liberty Utilities, who received awards. 

 

Round Two of GRIP Funding Now Available
On Nov. 14, the Biden-Harris Administration released the second round of GRIP funding of up to $3.9 billion. A public webinar with more information was held on Nov. 20th and the first milestone of concept papers are due Jan. 12, 2024. Final GRIP applications for the resilience and smart grants are due April 17th, and grid innovation grant applications are due May 22, 2024.  

Itron can support with strategic consulting, solution mapping, proposal writing and review, internal approvals, messaging and positioning with the DOE. We look forward to empowering utilities and cities with the tools they need to make the most of these historic investments in our energy infrastructure and the communities we live, work and play. To learn how our solutions map to IIJA funding, read this blog article

Read the first GRIP funding announcement from the DOE here, the full list of funding recipients here and the most recent funding announcement released here.