White House Launches Initiative To Boost America’s Power Grid

The initiative will bolster the U.S. power grid by accelerating improvements to its electric transmission and distribution network.

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The Biden-Harris Administration launched the Federal-State Modern Grid Deployment Initiative, along with commitments from 21 states. This initiative intends to drive grid adaptation quickly and cost-effectively to meet the challenges and opportunities the power sector faces. The initiative comes after several severe storms traveled across the U.S., leaving thousands without power. Over 650,000 customers are experiencing power outages in Texas after these storms.

To make sure there are fewer power outages in the U.S., participating states will support the adoption of modern grid solutions to expand grid capacity and build modern grid capabilities on both new and existing transmission and distribution lines.

Historically, expanding the capacity of the U.S. power grid has typically relied on building new transmission lines with technologies that have not changed since the mid-twentieth century. Today’s new generation of modern grid technologies provides a significant opportunity to achieve power system capacity expansion, including through high-performance conductors that have the benefit of being able to carry double or more of the amount of power of conventional transmission wires, as well as Grid Enhancing Technologies that maximize electricity transmission across the existing system through a family of technologies that includes sensors, power flow control devices, and analytical tools. These solutions increase the capacity and throughput based on real-time conditions. Deploying these tools means that renewables and other clean sources of power can be integrated sooner and more cost-effectively than waiting for new transmission construction.

In particular, the 21 states signing on as inaugural members will focus on:

• Meeting the shared challenges and opportunities of increased load growth, a rapidly changing energy landscape, aging infrastructure, and new grid-enhancing technologies—while delivering reliable, clean, and affordable energy to consumers.

• Deploying innovative grid technologies to bolster the capacity of our electric grid and more effectively meet current and future demand, maximize benefits of new and existing transmission infrastructure, increase grid resilience to the growing impacts of climate change, and better protect consumers from variability in energy prices.

Last month, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a public-private mobilization to upgrade 100,000 miles of existing lines with these types of high-impact solutions over the next five years as part of a suite of announcements in the power sector.

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