The US just made its biggest-ever investment in the grid

Electricity towers in the field with flowers.
George Rose/Getty Images

By: Jeff St. John

The Biden administration is making a historic investment in the core infrastructure of the energy transition — the country’s power grid.

On Wednesday, the Department of Energy announced $3.5 billion in grants to expand capacity for wind and solar power, harden power lines against extreme weather, integrate batteries and electric vehicles, and build out microgrids that can keep the lights on during power outages.

The announcement named 58 projects across 44 states eligible to receive federal funding. When matched by funds from state and local governments and utility and industry partners, they will represent more than $8 billion in investment.

All told, it’s the ​largest-ever investment in America’s grid,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a press briefing from Locust Grove, Georgia, one of the locations that will receive some of the funding. The $3.5 billion is the first major round of funding from the DOE’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships Program, created by 2021’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which has $10.5 billion available to expand transmission lines, improve grid resiliency and deploy ​smart-grid” technologies.

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