R.I. receiving $6.6M in federal funding for resiliency of electric grid

THE R.I. OFFICE of Energy Resources is expected to use $6.6 million in federal grants to address resiliency threat to the state electric grid.
THE R.I. OFFICE of Energy Resources is expected to use $6.6 million in federal grants to address resiliency threat to the state electric grid. / AP FILE PHOTO/STEVEN SENNE

PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Office of Energy Resources will be receiving a total of $6.6 million in federal funding, according to Gov. Daniel J. McKee’s administration.

The funding, of which $3.4 million is going to the Tribal Formula Grant Program and $3.2 million to the state energy program, will support administrative and programmatic tasks at OER, including energy security planning and enhancing the resiliency of the state’s electric grid system, which will help in advancing the goals with the state’s 2021 Act on Climate.

The grants are supported by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Deployment Office. A total of $207.6 million in grants was awarded to nine states and three tribal nations.

“With this funding, the Office of Energy Resources will design a grant program that will work with eligible sub-awardees to enhance grid resilience and ensure that every Rhode Islander has access to sustainable energy solutions,” McKee said in a statement Wednesday. “This is a significant step in achieving our clean energy goals.”

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Rhode Island will use the funding to address electric resilience threats. Under the administration of the OER, the state will hold a competitive selection process to identify projects for which federal funding will be deployed.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also includes provisions to incentivize states to invest in electric transmission and distribution planning and accelerate the use of alternative transportation fuels and vehicle electrification.

“This funding will support projects and studies that will help modernize our grid and reduce our carbon emissions,” said Acting State Energy Commissioner Chris Kearns. “Our office, along with the collaboration with Governor McKee and the congressional delegation, we will continue to grow the state’s clean energy portfolio, make strategic investments in our utility system for climate resiliency and achieve the objectives with Act on Climate.”

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