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Funding for electric grid in the bipartisan bill

Rob Gramlich's picture
President Grid Strategies LLC

Rob Gramlich has been working to drive grid modernization and expansion efforts since the mid-1990s. Through senior positions in government and the private sector, he has developed and led...

  • Member since 2005
  • 8 items added with 4,305 views
  • Aug 10, 2021
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The Senate bipartisan infrastructure deal recognizes transmission. Policy makers are talking about the importance of the grid when describing the bill. That enthusiasm is great. It is significant that the Senate bill recognizes the importance of transmission as a key part of the nation’s infrastructure. We’ve come a long way in just a couple years.

 

Unfortunately a lot of policy makers seem to think there is $73 billion for transmission in the bill but there is not. There is only $2.5 billion for a “transmission facilitation program” that helps get new large lines built. Then there is some money for grid hardening and resilience which is a different need, but we can call that transmission too, so maybe there is $5 billion. As everyone in the electric industry knows, that is a tiny amount of funding for transmission. It is a quarter year’s worth. So there is a lot more to do. We still do not have a way to build large highway type lines, or to allocate the costs. Congress should pass a tax credit for regionally significant transmission as the Biden/Harris American Jobs Plan called for.

Rob Gramlich's picture
Thank Rob for the Post!
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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 10, 2021

Unfortunately a lot of policy makers seem to think there is $73 billion for transmission in the bill but there is not. There is only $2.5 billion for a “transmission facilitation program” that helps get new large lines built. Then there is some money for grid hardening and resilience which is a different need, but we can call that transmission too, so maybe there is $5 billion.

great example of the waters being muddied, not to mention the challenge for those outside the industry to really comprehend the scale of money this is vs. what is needed vs. what's been spent historically vs. what would be the end benefits. 

Rob-- do you think the tax credit you mentioned could be passed separately later, or is it important to use the current momentum to get it included in whatever the ultimate package is? 

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