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DOE puts significant money behind transmission projects in new initiative.

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Christopher Neely's picture
Independent Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

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  • Jan 18, 2022
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The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a more than $20 billion infusion into modernizing the country's grid, most of it going toward transmission projects. 

The Building a Better Grid Initiative will be $20 billion toward transmission, $3 billion of which will come from a smart grid grant fund and $2.5 billion from the federal infrastructure bill. Another $10 billion will be put toward preventing power outages and maintaining power infrastructure. 

According to the DOE, the country needs to expand electricity transmission systems by 60% by 2030, and may need to triple it by 2050 in order to reach President Joe Biden's ambitious climate goals. More than 70% of existing transmission infrastructure and power transformers are over 25 years old, which makes them vulnerable to failure as the power industry modernized how it creates and moves electricity. 

A key part to the initiative, besides the influx of federal dollars, is a streamlining of transmission siting and permitting, which has long been cited as among the largest obstacles facing a modern transmission system. 

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