U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm
Mississippi set to receive $12 million in grant funding to fortify the state’s power grid.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is providing funding through a grant program to nine states and five tribal nations totaling $125 million with the goal is strengthening the power grid in those locations. It is the seventh installment of Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants.
“This will help ‘harden’ the electric grid and ensure that those who are usually first to lose power and last to be restored are identified and protected,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told Magnolia Tribune this week.
The funding will go to specific projects to determine weaknesses in the grid. It will allow the states or tribal nations to utilize software that can be added to the power grid in order to detect weak areas.
Secretary Granholm said Mississippi’s grant proposal included a request the use of drones to determine where vulnerabilities lie.
“For example, the drones would allow officials to see where trees are interfering with lines so they can send out crews to trim,” said Granholm.
This investment in the power grid will help Mississippi to mitigate the risk of severe weather on critical facilities. The funding will also go to support infrastructure improvements and upgrades, the development of microgrid and non-wired alternative projects, and the growth of the skilled workforce for those activities.
Ultimately, the Biden Administration has said the funding is aimed at modernizing the electric grid to reduce the impact of climate-driven weather and natural disasters.
“This funding will enable communities to access affordable, reliable and clean electricity while helping deliver on the President’s ambitious clean energy goals,” a White House release stated.
According to Secretary Granholm, the U.S. has already incurred $15 billion in extreme climate-related disaster costs.
In total during 2023, the DOE has distributed more than $580.5 million in similar grants. Other states receiving funding this round include Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Washington, and Wyoming. Tribal groups include Beaver Village, Chilkat Indian Village, Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma.
Over the next five years it is anticipated that the Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants will distribute a total of $2.3 billion.