The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will be distributing up to $300 million in grants for states, tribes and local governments to accelerate and strengthen electric transmission siting and permitting processes to help achieve the Biden-Harris administration’s climate and clean energy goals.
Supported by the Inflation Reduction Act and administered by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office, the Transmission Siting and Economic Development (TSED) grant program is a new initiative designed to overcome state and local challenges to expanding transmission capacity while supporting communities along major new and upgraded lines.
The grant monies can fund studies, modeling, environmental planning and analysis to assess alternatives, better inform decision-making and reduce application-processing timetables. The program can also support engagement with members of the public, including tribal, rural and disadvantaged communities, and facilitate participation in regulatory proceedings at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other regulatory agencies.
TSED grants are available to support engagement, economic development and other benefits in communities that may be affected by the construction and operation of interstate or offshore transmission projects. Community-based projects can include energy investments such as renewable power integration; support for essential local facilities; or efforts to encourage community unity by investing in community centers and creating green spaces. Funds can also subsidize energy sector job training and apprenticeship programs. Communities are invited to submit unique project ideas suited to local needs.
This grant program is part of broader efforts to advance transmission buildout, including by streamlining federal reviews of transmission projects and investing in a wide range of grid upgrades that will help lower electricity costs, strengthen reliability and reduce climate pollution.
While transmission developers are not eligible for TSED grants, they can be key partners, collaborating with siting and permitting agencies to propose innovative solutions. The TSED grant program is not intended to replace developer-funded community benefits programs. It is intended to be additive, encourage innovation and be driven directly by communities and their needs.
The $300 million for Transmission Siting and Economic Development is the first tranche available of this $760 million program established by the Inflation Reduction Act.
DOE requires applicants to express an interest in applying for funds by submitting concept papers no later than October 31, 2023 at 5 p.m. EDT. Full applications will be due April 5, 2024 at 5 p.m. EDT.
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