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Saturday, October 21, 2023

What Does It Take To Modernize The U.S. Electrical Grid?

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Folks from all corners of the US skilled some type of excessive climate in 2023. In keeping with the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2023 has already set a report for billion-dollar climate and local weather disasters in the US. Tragic occasions just like the lethal Maui firestorm, excessive flooding in California and New England, Hurricane Idalia’s class 4 winds battering the Gulf Coast, and devastating hailstorms and tornados all through the central US underscore how a altering local weather poses main challenges to the reliability our electrical grid — the spine of the US’ economic system, nationwide safety, and neighborhood well being and security.

A lot of the U.S. electrical grid was constructed within the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies. Whereas the system has been improved with automation and a few rising applied sciences, our ageing infrastructure is struggling to satisfy our fashionable electrical energy wants, reminiscent of renewable vitality sources and rising constructing and transportation electrification. For instance, 70 p.c of transmission strains are over 25 years previous and approaching the top of their typical 50–80-year lifecycle. This has main penalties on our communities: energy outages, susceptibility to cyber-attacks, or neighborhood emergencies brought on by defective grid infrastructure.

On October 18, 2023, the Division of Vitality (DOE) introduced as much as $3.5 billion for 58 initiatives throughout 44 states to strengthen electrical grid resilience and reliability throughout the US, all whereas bettering local weather resilience and creating good paying union jobs. These initiatives will leverage greater than $8 billion in federal and personal investments as a part of the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program, funded via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Regulation and administered by DOE’s Grid Deployment Workplace (GDO).

The GRIP initiatives will deal with a spread of grid wants to extend resilience and reliability throughout the nation, with just a few main tendencies popping up throughout the assorted picks. They embrace:

  • Wildfire prevention and resilience: State-of-the-art applied sciences will shield the grid from wildfires and forestall wildfires brought on by ageing infrastructure. Good grid funding will assist predict, establish, and tackle issues earlier and enhance real-time responses to threats.
  • Neighborhood resilience: Microgrids that develop renewables and distributed vitality sources will enable shoppers to maintain the ability domestically on even when the grid experiences outages.
  • Decrease vitality payments and elevated clear vitality: DOE is making crucial investments in our grid with out passing prices all the way down to shoppers, all whereas enabling cleaner vitality sources, much less air pollution, and a neater time putting in photo voltaic panels or plugging in an electrical automobile at dwelling.
  • Investments in deprived communities: By Group Advantages Plans, all GRIP initiatives have outlined methods to depart lasting impacts on native communities past infrastructure upgrades alone, together with domestically centered financial growth and hundreds of good-paying, union jobs.

The GRIP program can have a long-lasting, substantial impression on our nation’s economic system, vitality reliability, and community-level resilience. Be part of us over the approaching weeks for a weblog collection as we dive into these lasting advantages each on the native, regional, and nationwide stage. GDO additionally invitations you to affix us for a webinar on October 24, 2023 at 2:30 PM to showcase GRIP awardees and focus on tendencies within the software course of. Registration right here.

This weblog put up is a part of a collection about the advantages of modernizing the U.S. electrical grid via the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program.

Courtesy of Vitality.gov.


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