News and Updates
Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants Amended to Better Support Tribal Entities
On May 5, 2023, the Grid Deployment Office (GDO) released an amendment to the Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants, a $2.3 billion program supported by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law designed to strengthen and modernize America’s power grid against wildfires, extreme weather, and other natural disasters that are exacerbated by the climate crisis. This amendment increases formula grant allocations for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 to better account for the probability of disruptive events on Tribal lands. To encourage participation, GDO also extended the Tribal application deadline to August 31, 2023, at 11:59 ET (with a mail-in option post-marked by this date). GDO will assist affected Tribes who have already submitted an application if they wish to apply for their increased allocations.
The Formula Grant deadline for States and Territories has not changed and remains May 31, 2023, at 11:59 pm ET. Applications continue to be accepted on a rolling basis.
DOE Announces $38 Million to Modernize the Electricity Grid
On April 25, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $38 million funding opportunity for National Laboratories to advance key research and development priorities needed to build a grid that can deliver resilient, reliable, flexible, secure, sustainable, affordable, and equitable electricity. Funding from DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative will be used to develop and support the deployment of concepts, tools, and technologies to better integrate all sources of electricity and energy storage, improve our nation's cybersecurity, and incorporate energy justice and climate data in grid planning and operation. Modernizing the grid is essential to achieving President Biden’s goals of 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a fully decarbonized economy by 2050.
Learn more about DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative lab call.
Director Robinson Visits EPRI's Transmission & Distribution Research Laboratory
On April 20, 2023, Grid Deployment Office (GDO) Director Maria Robinson visited the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)’s Transmission and Distribution (T&D) research laboratory located in Lenox, Massachusetts. Joined by EPRI’s VP of T&D Infrastructure, Andrew Phillips, the tour featured demonstrations and displays of energy distribution structure resilience testing, a drone test site, and more.
Loan Programs Office Offers First Conditional Commitment for a Virtual Power Plant to Sunnova’s Project Hestia
On April 20, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO) announced a conditional commitment to Sunnova Energy Corporation’s Project Hestia for an up to $3 billion partial loan guarantee to make distributed energy resources—including rooftop solar, battery storage, and virtual power plant-ready software—available to more American homeowners. Project Hestia is expected to prioritize a focus on households in disadvantaged communities across the United States, including providing up to 20% of installed systems through its loans to homeowners in Puerto Rico. If finalized, the partial loan guarantee would enable Sunnova to provide loans for clean energy systems for approximately 75,000 to 115,000 homeowners throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
LPO’s conditional loan to Sunnova is one of many actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken in recent months to help strengthen Puerto Rico’s grid modernization and energy resiliency. In December 2022, President Biden authorized $1 billion for the establishment of the Puerto Rico Energy Resilience Fund (PR-ERF), administered by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office (GDO). The PR-ERF is a separate federal funding source to drive key investments in renewable and resilient energy infrastructure in Puerto Rico. GDO expects to announce a formal request for proposals this summer.
Catfish, Cakemix, and Clean Energy
On April 11, 2023, the Grid Deployment Office shared how the Kansas River-based hydropower facility, the Bowersock Mills & Power Company, began a major rehabilitation of their South Powerhouse through the Hydroelectric Production Incentives program. To get to the dam’s foundations, they pumped out all the water—and there, beneath its deteriorating and honeycombed base, they found a whole aquatic ecosystem flush with fish as small as a pinky finger and as big as the workers themselves. With help from some heavy equipment, the crew relocated monstrous catfish, releasing them downriver and then building a new habitat next to the facility so the bottom-dwellers could continue to thrive in their native Kansas River.
The case of the catfish is more than just a fish-friendly story—it’s one of several examples of how the Bowersock Mills & Power Company provides more than just clean energy. The 130-year-old, low-impact hydropower facility not only generates enough energy to power about 3,500 homes in Northeast Kansas, but also supports two bridges, provides about 50% of the city’s water supply, and offers access to fishing and canoeing. Not too long ago, the Bowersock Mills & Power Company almost shut its turbines down for good. Fortunately, Bowersock was able to take advantage of a federally funded hydroelectric incentives program to keep the project online.
DOE Launches New Consumer Energy Savings Hub
On April 24, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Energy Savings Hub, an online, one-stop shop for American families and consumers to access the savings tools that President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has made available to drastically cut energy costs. The new website puts clean energy tax credits and forthcoming rebates right at Americans’ fingertips, helping people take control of their energy costs and have cleaner and more efficient options as a consumer—whether they are looking to purchase an electric vehicle, update an appliance, or make their home safer and more comfortable. Full implementation of the Investing in America agenda will put the U.S. on track to achieve the nation’s goal of 2030 economy wide greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels.
Explore the Energy Savings Hub.
The Grid Deployment Office is Hiring!
GDO is looking for a Program Manager for the Grid Infrastructure, Permitting, and Technical Assistance Team to oversee Inflation Reduction Act Transmission Siting and Economic Development Grants to Siting Authorities, manage National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews, and administer the evaluation of presidential permit and export authorization applications.
GDO is also recruiting for other positions to support our mission to provide reliable, affordable electricity to everyone, everywhere. Hear from Director Maria Robinson as she shares what she loves about working at the Grid Deployment Office and how to apply for open opportunities.
Visit our career page to learn more about the application process.
Subscribe to the GDO Newsletter
Did you know that GDO offers subscriptions to program-specific news and information about funding opportunities, webinars, requests for information, and more? Specific topics include:
- Building a Better Grid Initiative and Transmission Planning
- Civil Nuclear Credits
- Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program
- Hydroelectric Incentives
- Information for States and Tribes
- National Transmission Planning Study
- Offshore Wind Transmission Planning
- Puerto Rico Grid Recovery and Modernization
Grid and Transmission Program Conductor
Do you know which transmission and grid resilience financing program is right for your project? With more options for financing and investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, as well as other existing DOE transmission and grid programs, the Grid and Transmission Program Conductor’s interactive tool can help identify which opportunities may be best suited to bring your project to fruition.
Check out the Grid and Transmission Program Conductor.
Recent Meeting Materials
Application Guidance Public Webinar: Hydroelectric Production Incentives (EPAct 2005 Section 242) and Hydroelectric Efficiency Improvement Incentives (EPAct 2005 Section 243)