The bipartisan infrastructure law (BIL)—officially known as the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—provides $62 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish 60 new programs over the next 5 years, many of which will provide work for electrical contractors.
The DOE is using a portion of those funds to invest in American manufacturing, including a $750 million grant program to support manufacturing projects in coal communities. More than $7 billion will also be invested in the battery supply chain, which incorporates sourcing materials for manufacturing and recycling issues at end of life.
The BIL will “require all construction workers on projects funded by the deal to be paid prevailing wages, according to the Davis-Bacon Act.” The investment in workforce development will give employees access to training in emerging technologies.
Some of the BIL funding opportunities for ECs include:
State Energy Program ($500 million): designed to provide funding to states to support electric transmission and distribution and more. Some eligible uses are programs to increase clean energy technology in buildings, industry and transportation. This also includes electric vehicles. Responses are due May 3, 2022.
Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid Grants ($5 billion): for states and tribes to harden the grid and reduce consequences of disruptive events
Program Upgrading Our Electric Grid and Ensuring Reliability and Resiliency ($5 billion): for finding innovative approaches to transmission, storage and distribution to enhance grid resilience
Transmission Facilitation Program ($2.5 billion): construction of electric power transmission lines and related facilities to provide low-cost clean energy
Weatherization Assistance Program ($3.5 billion): increase the energy efficiency of homes while reducing the total residential energy expenditures and improve health and safety of low-income residents. Responses are due July 1.
Grants for Energy Efficiency Improvements and Renewable Improvements at Public School Facilities ($500 million): provide energy efficiency and renewable energy in public schools.
In addition, an investment of $550 million will go to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program and $500 million will go to the State Energy Program to develop clean energy programs that create jobs.
The BIL also includes funding to build technology through clean energy demonstrations. There will be $21.5 billion for “clean energy demonstrations and research hubs” to achieve the goal of net-zero by 2050. $10 billion will go to carbon capture, $8 billion to clean hydrogen, and $2.5 billion will aid advanced nuclear energy projects.
For more information and a full list of programs, visit www.energy.gov/bil.
About The Author
Holly SauerAssociate Editor
Holly Sauer is Electrical Contractor magazine's associate editor. Reach her at [email protected]