Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was introduced on June 4, 2021. Following months of negotiations, the bill passed in Congress with bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Joe Biden on November 15, 2021. The law authorizes $1.2 trillion in infrastructure spending across more than 380 federal programs. Of that, approximately $650 billion reauthorizes existing funding, and another $550 billion adds new funding to support the nation’s infrastructure needs.

The IIJA represents the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century. This historic package of federal investments will support robust and modern infrastructure, create good-paying jobs and spur economic growth. These critical investments will also take a huge step forward in lifting up our most vulnerable communities and addressing decades of historical disparities.

Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid

On July 6, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) opened the application period for States, Tribal nations, and territories to apply for the $2.3 billion formula grant program designed to strengthen and modernize America’s power grid against wildfires, extreme weather and other natural disasters exacerbated by the climate crisis.

The Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid program was established through IIJA and administered through DOE’s new Building a Better Grid Initiative. The program will assist with projects that create good-paying jobs to deliver clean, affordable, and resilient clean energy to Washington state and support statewide goals of 100% clean electricity by 2045.

The formula grant program is authorized through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Section 40101(d) and will provide $459 million annually to States, the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories, and Indian Tribes over a five-year period. The state application to DOE is due on September 30, 2022. The goal of the Section 40101(d) program is to enhance electric grid resilience for communities. The program aims to invest in projects that increase energy resilience and reliability, provide the greatest community benefit in reducing the likelihood and consequences of disruptions to the electricity grid, promote decarbonization of the energy system, improve energy justice and equity, and create well-paying jobs.

Commerce will support the state’s application for the formula funds and administration of the program in coordination with the Utilities and Transportation Commission and the Governor’s office. Commerce hosted an education webinar providing a comprehensive background on this DOE opportunity:

Public Workshop

On September 1, 2022, the Department of Energy announced an extension of the deadline for states and Tribes to submit applications for this funding opportunity, from September 30, 2022 to March 31, 2023. Given this timeline extension, Commerce will plan to convert the scheduled public hearings to public workshops. Please note the adjusted agenda below.

  • Commerce will no longer be taking public comments at this time.
  • Please continue to visit this website for updates.
  • Questions can be emailed to Sarah Vorpahl at sarah.vorpahl@commerce.wa.gov.
  • Further details on this update and other information about the program can be found at the DOE website.

The Department of Commerce will host two public workshops to collect feedback on the development of the Washington Grid Resilience Program.

Commerce has engaged Converge Strategies to conduct needs assessment interviews with stakeholder groups across Washington in order to assess the state’s energy resilience needs.

At the Washington Grid Resilience Program Public Workshops, Converge Strategies will present a summary of findings from the needs assessment interviews. In addition, Commerce will present a high level proposal of the program application elements based on these findings.

Public Workshop Agenda

  • Program Overview: Brief overview of the DOE Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid Formula Grants to States and Indian Tribes funding opportunity (Section 40101(d) of the IIJA).
  • Presenter: Sarah Vorpahl, Manager, Federal Energy Policy and Strategic Alignment, Washington State Energy Office, Washington Department of Commerce
  • Engagement and Outreach Presentation: Grid resilience formula program: Outreach and engagement presentation
  • Presenter: Michael Wu, Principal, Converge Strategies
  • Proposed Objectives: Grid resilience proposed objectives and guidelines and future program development stakeholder engagement opportunities.
  • Presenter: Sarah Vorpahl, Manager, Federal Energy Policy and Strategic Alignment, Washington State Energy Office, Washington Department of Commerce.

Meeting Details

Grid Resilience Formula Program Public Workshop #1 [RESCHEDULED]

  • Date: This public hearing will now be scheduled for Thursday Sept. 15
  • Time: 10 a.m. to noon
  • Location: Remote access only
  • Join Zoom Meeting
    Meeting ID: 874 7829 4692
    Passcode: 467694
  • Dial by your location
    +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
    +1 213 338 8477 US (Los Angeles)
    +1 971 247 1195 US (Portland)
  • Find your local number

Grid Resilience Formula Program Public Workshop #2
Please note: Meeting #2 is now scheduled before Meeting #1. The time and date of Meeting #2 is not being changed.

  • Date: Monday, Sept. 12, 2022
  • Time: 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Location: Remote access only
  • Join Zoom Meeting
    Meeting ID: 872 5207 1065
    Passcode: 097430
  • Dial by your location
    +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
    +1 213 338 8477 US (Los Angeles)
    +1 971 247 1195 US (Portland)
  • Find your local number

Have insights to share on IIJA?

An online comment portal will be available shortly to provide Commerce feedback on IIJA funds and how they impact Washington communities.

Contact

Sarah Vorpahl, Ph.D., Manager
Federal Energy Policy and Strategic Alignment
Email: Sarah.Vorpahl@Commerce.wa.gov