The US government has introduced the Federal-State Modern Grid Deployment Initiative to enhance the capacity, reliability and resilience of the country’s electricity grid.

21 states have agreed to prioritise modern grid solutions, focusing on advanced conductors and grid-enhancing technologies to better integrate renewable energy sources.

The participating states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin.

The initiative seeks to bolster grid capacity to meet current and future demands, maximise the benefits of transmission infrastructure, and increase resilience against climate change impacts.

It encourages collaboration between federal entities, states, utilities and stakeholders to address challenges such as load growth, aging infrastructure and climate change.

The Department of Energy (DOE) and other federal agencies will provide technical and financial assistance through programmes such as GRIP [Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships] and New ERA [Empowering Rural America].

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To streamline project development, new categorical exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) have been introduced to simplify the environmental review process for transmission upgrades.

Investments from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are being channelled to support grid enhancements and job creation, with the Justice40 Initiative ensuring that 40% of the benefits reach disadvantaged communities.

In April 2024 the US government announced a five-year plan to upgrade 100,000 miles of transmission lines with advanced technologies.

In February, the DOE announced a $1.2bn investment under its Transmission Facilitation Program’s RFP [request for proposals] to expedite the construction of large-scale transmission lines.