US Energy Department Allocates $8.25Bln as ‘Down Payment’ On Planned Upgrade of Power Grid
Washington – The US Energy Department earmarked on Tuesday a loan package of $8.25 billion to upgrade power transmission systems in the western United States, with most of the financing targeting Native American communities.
“This is a down payment on our efforts to modernize our transmission nationwide,” US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a press release. “These investments will make our power system more resilient against threats and more reliable as we increase our clean energy capacity, creating thousands of jobs in the process,” she said.
Up to $5 billion in loan guarantees will support projects by federally recognized Native American tribes and Alaska Native Corporations, including connections to offshore wind farms and to facilities along rail and highway routes, the release added.
The remaining $3.25 billion will subsidize a federal financing program targeting grid upgrades in the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), which covers much of the US west of the Mississippi River, the release added.
The package is part of a larger effort by the Biden administration to upgrade the nation’s entire power grid, with added resilience against cyber threats, natural disasters and physical threats.