Federal dollars secured to improve state's power grid
- Sep 18, 2023 12:14 pm GMT
Sep. 16—More than
The influx of dollars, praised in a press release by Sen.
The grant funding will be used to prevent wildfire ignition and expand the workforce in
The money likely will be used to improve some portions of the state's power grid in part through vegetation management around overhead energy lines, according to
"Over the past few years we've seen some bigger wind storms," Keltner said. "I think this is constant, trying to keep up."
The money will allow the state to work with awardees on specific projects like improved infrastructure, equipment and software or for organizational changes to mitigate the hazards wildfires, winter storms and other intense events pose to the electrical grid.
While the money is a good start, the question remains as to how much a full restoration and strengthening project would cost, according to
"When it's public sector spending, it's political," Barkey said, wondering if the money is enough to make a dent in the infrastructure needs of the state's power grid.
Barkey spent the last few months traveling
In a state as spread out and sparsely populated as
"The evidence is clear in other states, most recently
In early August, a series of wildfires broke out on
The growing threat is coming from literally what grows, Barkey said, hoping that grant spenders make an effort to clear the lines from any overgrowth or tree interference.
The money from the Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants program allows states and Tribes to make sub-awards to eligible entities to harden their systems.
"By making changes to harden our grid and bring outdated infrastructure into the 21st century, these funds will help keep the lights on when Montanans need them the most," Tester's office said in a press release.
(c)2023 the Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Mont.)
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