The US government, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, announced a $3.46bn financing for 58 projects across 44 states to strengthen the resilience and reliability of the electric grid across the country.

The funding aims to help deliver affordable clean electricity to people across the country and prepare the electric grid for extreme weather worsened by the climate crisis.

The selected projects will receive more than $8bn in federal and private investments, under the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

They will support the President’s Justice40 Initiative to benefit disadvantaged communities and help bring more than 35GW of new renewable energy online.

The projects will also invest in 400 microgrids and create union jobs with three out of four projects partnering with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said: “Extreme weather events fuelled by climate change will continue to strain the nation’s ageing transmission systems, but President Biden’s Investing in America agenda will ensure America’s power grid can provide reliable, affordable power.

“Today’s announcement represents the largest-ever direct investment in critical grid infrastructure, supporting projects that will harden systems, and improve energy reliability and affordability – all while generating union jobs for highly skilled workers.”

The Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program, managed by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office (GDO), will fund the modernisation of the electric grid.

It aims to reduce the impacts of natural disasters and extreme weather conditions and increase the flexibility, efficiency, and reliability of the electric power system.

The funding will help reduce the faults that may lead to wildfires and improve reliability by deploying advanced approaches to electricity transmission, storage, and distribution.

The current $3.46bn financing, which represents a first round of the broader $10.5bn GRIP programme, will support the projects selected in Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Oregon.

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and the group of companies that support the Georgia electric cooperatives will collaborate to invest more than $507m, to increase reliability and lower costs.

In the state of Louisiana, a strategic initiative with 15 government entities, energy companies, and community and academic institutions will be launched.

The initiative will deploy a network of Community Resilience Hubs powered by distributed energy resources microgrids, to enhance the emergency response operations.

In Detroit and its surrounding territory, DTE Energy will deploy adaptive networked microgrids, which can adapt to changing energy demands and supply conditions in real-time.

Also, Consumers Energy (CE) will build out necessary infrastructure investments in a few of the most historically underinvested communities in Michigan.

In southeastern Pennsylvania, PECO Energy will upgrade underground monitoring and control technologies, deploy battery systems for backup power, replace ageing infrastructure, and install advanced conductors to increase grid capacity.

In eastern Pennsylvania, PPL Electric Utilities will integrate distributed energy resources and enable real-time grid control to reduce outage duration and frequency.

In Pittsburgh, Duquesne Light will enhance system capacity to unlock clean energy generation and meet targets established in the State’s Climate Action Plan.

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon and Portland General Electric (PGE) will upgrade transmission capacity and connect PGE customers with renewable resources east of the Cascade Mountains.

PGE will also deploy an AI-powered, grid-edge computing platform to improve the connection of distributed energy resources, along with informed modelling.

PacifiCorp will update infrastructure for fire resistance and prevention in Oregon and the surrounding states, reducing outages and risks, while also improving flood resilience.

The selected projects have Justice40 commitments, and 86% of them contain either labour union partnerships or involve collective bargaining agreements.

In addition to the financing, the programme also includes several projects anchored by inter-regional collaboration that will expand transmission across multiple states.

The collaborations include Joint Targeted Interconnection Queue Transmission Study Process and Portfolio (JTIQ), and Wildfire Assessment and Resilience for Networks (WARN).