Friday, February 28 (Washington, D.C.) — Americans for a Clean Energy Grid (ACEG) filed comments with the Department of Energy regarding implementation of Section 50152 of the Inflation Reduction Act, the Transmission Siting and Economic Development Grants Program.
This provision provides $760 million for: (1) grants to siting authorities to carry out eligible activities that will facilitate the siting and permitting of certain interstate onshore and offshore electricity transmission lines; and (2) grants to siting authorities, or other state, local, or Tribal governmental entities, for economic development activities in communities that may be affected by the construction and operation of these transmission projects.
ACEG commends DOE for seeking public input on how to effectively distribute and use the grant funds. Based on the parameters laid out in the IRA, ACEG recommends specific activities that DOE should consider using the funds for activities such as: supporting inter-jurisdictional collaboration to site interstate lines and building capacity of siting authorities to address transmission line applications.
ACEG also appreciates the IRA’s support for local economic development activities in communicates that may be impacted by a transmission project. Direct or indirect assistance to communities can help promote good will and build support for a project. It is vitally important that communities self-identify which activities and programs funded by DOE would benefit them — including needs that may arise after a project has gone into service. That said, many communities, especially those with the greatest needs, may not have the resources to investigate and apply for federal funding; nor do siting authorities, or governmental entities, have resources to invest in developing individual funding application protocols. Based on these considerations, ACEG encourages DOE to develop a formulaic funding approach to reduce the burden on communities that would benefit from the program and the siting authorities or governmental entities that will be managing the funds.
View ACEG’s full comments here.