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 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 March 31, 2023. 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 will be providing a draft proposal for public comment and public hearing in the coming months. Please continue to check back on this website for further information.

Commerce hosted an education webinar providing a comprehensive background on this DOE opportunity:

Public Workshop

Commerce hosted two public workshops to provide an update on the Washington state application. Converge Strategies presented a summary of findings from a needs assessment interviews. Commerce engaged Converge Strategies to conduct needs assessment interviews with stakeholder groups across Washington in order to assess the state’s energy resilience needs. In addition, Commerce presented a high level proposal of the program application elements based on these findings:

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

Michael Furze
Assistant Director, Energy Division
Email: Michael.Furze@Commerce.wa.gov