Washington, D.C. (August 16, 2022) —Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG), a diverse coalition of business, labor, consumer, utility, transmission and generation developers, environmental, and other groups that support effective transmission development, applauds Congress and President Biden for passing and signing the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) into law. This landmark legislation provides meaningful financial mechanisms and process improvements, that combined with the funding provided in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act (IIJA), will help spur the investment our nation needs to expand and modernize high-capacity interregional transmission in order to achieve a robust, resilient, and affordable electric power system for America.
“ACEG thanks Congress and the President for their commitment to taking proactive and robust action to advance transmission development necessary to protect the interests of Americans and our nation. Though Congress faced many hurdles over the past two years in bringing legislation to the finish line, ACEG appreciates Congress’ dedication to passing the Inflation Reduction Act which tackles one of the biggest barriers to building transmission— providing significant resources to support state and federal agencies in siting and permitting transmission. Combined with resources and opportunities in the IIJA, the IRA will get steel in the ground and generate benefits for both rural and urban America.” — Christina Hayes, ACEG Executive Director
According to numerous studies, the US must invest significant resources in building out a high-capacity integrated transmission grid in order to withstand the impacts of extreme weather, prevent against cyberattacks, meet decarbonization goals, and bring on the lower cost generation that consumers are demanding. Building out the transmission grid would lower electric sector emissions by 95 percent by 2050, create over 6 million new jobs especially in rural areas, deploy thousands of megawatts of renewable power, and cut consumer’s electric bills by one third.
IRA includes several provisions that support swift transmission construction and modernization, including:
- $2 billion in low-interest direct loans to support transmission projects built in a National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor.(Section 50151)
- Increasing the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program from $2 billion to $20 billion to support, among other things, technical capacity, planning, and execution of projects that integrate energy resources and resource development on Indian land. (Section 50145)
- $760 Million in grants to relevant siting authorities to facilitate the siting of certain onshore and offshore transmission lines, including funding: studies and analyses of the impacts of the covered transmission project, analyses of alternative siting corridors, regulatory proceedings or negotiations in another jurisdiction that is also considering the project, participation in federal and state regulatory proceedings for purposes of rate-setting and cost allocation, and promoting economic development in affected communities. (Section 50152)
- $100 millionto Department of Energy to convene stakeholders and conduct analysis related to interregional and offshore wind energy transmission development. (Section 50153)
- $15 million to the Department of the Interior to facilitate timely and efficient environmental reviews and authorizations of infrastructure projects by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, including for hiring and training of personnel, developing programmatic environmental documents and data/information systems, and stakeholder and community engagement. (Section 50303)
- $ 9.7 billion in loans and other financial assistance for the long-term resiliency, reliability, and affordability of rural electric systems to achieve the greatest reduction in carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions associated with rural electric systems, including through energy efficiency improvements to electric generation and transmission systems of the eligible entity. (Section 22004)
“ACEG recognizes and appreciates the historic nature of the Inflation Reduction Act in promoting needed modernization of our nation’s grid to benefit consumers, the economy, and the environment. We are excited to partner with the Government to assist with implementing and ensuring that the resources provided in both IRA and the IIJA are used to their maximum benefit.” -Patrick Hughes, ACEG President and Vice President of Strategy, Technical, and Industry Affairs at National Electrical Manufacturing Association
Sabreen Ahmed, Research Associate
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