On Wednesday, the Biden Administration announced another round of spending on energy projects across the country, aimed at strengthening the nation’s weakened electric grid in the face of several major natural disasters.
As Fox News reports, the administration plans to spend at least $3.5 billion on 58 different projects across the country, as the electric grid deals with the strain of such disasters as wildfires in Maui and California.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm described it as the largest federal investment ever in the grid’s infrastructure, claiming that the projects supported by this spending will harden electric systems and improve the reliability and affordability of the energy grid.
“The grid, as it currently sits, is not equipped to handle all the new demand” and withstand natural disasters and extreme weather worsened by climate change, said Granholm during a news conference. “We need it to be bigger, we need it to be stronger, we need it to be smarter,” in order to meet the administration’s self-imposed goal of 100% “clean energy” by the year 2035.
The spending will be under the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program, and will attempt to encourage such energy sources as solar, wind, and other forms of “green” energy in order to increase the flexibility and efficiency of electric power systems across the country.
Among the projects receiving funding are a $249 million effort to improve the energy grid in rural areas of Georgia and Louisiana, as well as $250 million for a Native American tribe in Oregon. The single largest spending allocation is $464 million for the improvement of five transmission projects in seven Midwestern states, stretching from Iowa to North Dakota. Also included will be $95 million for Hawaii, to help the island state recover from the catastrophic fires that tore through the island of Maui earlier this year. Another $150 million will go to PacifiCorp in order to improve the grid and wildfire mitigation measures in California, Oregon, Utah, and other Western states.