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IRA – Transmission Siting and Economic Development Program

Open Date:

8/29/2023

Close Date:

4/5/2024

Eligible Recipients:

  • Local Government
  • Native/Tribal Entity
  • State Government

Program Purpose:

  • Energy Infrastructure

Reserved for Energy
Communities?

No

Upcoming Milestones:

Bureau/Office:

Grid Deployment Office (GDO)

Funded by:

U.S. Department of Energy

Overview

Under Section 50152(a), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) appropriated $760 million to make grants to siting authorities to carry out eligible activities that will facilitate the siting and permitting of “covered transmission projects” or to siting authorities and other governmental entities for economic development activities in communities that may be affected by the construction and operation of a “covered transmission project.” A “covered transmission project” is defined in Section 50152(e)(1) as a “high voltage interstate or offshore electricity transmission line” for which an entity has applied for, or informed a siting authority of an intent to apply for, regulatory approval, and that is proposed to be constructed and to operate:

  • At a minimum of 275 kilovolts of either alternating-current or direct current electric energy by an entity; or
  • Offshore and at a minimum of 200 kilovolts of either alternating-current or direct-current electric energy by an entity.

These investments, particularly when combined with programs authorized and funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (otherwise known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law), will support the timely construction of new or upgraded electric transmission facilities and facilitate the siting of transmission facilities, while doing so in a manner consistent with affected community priorities, including considerations of environmental and energy justice, equity, job quality, and Tribal cultural resources.

Program Purpose

This program aims to ensure the timely siting and construction of new or upgraded interstate or offshore electric transmission facilities while providing economic benefits to impacted communities. In order to accelerate and strengthen siting and permitting activities carried out by state, local, and Tribal siting and permitting authorities, this program will support efforts to standardize and streamline siting and permitting processes, coordinate across jurisdictions, and carry out robust public engagement, among other things. In order to provide economic benefits to communities impacted by the construction and operation of interstate or offshore transmission lines, including economically disadvantaged communities and environmental justice communities, this program will provide funds to siting authorities or other types of state, local, or Tribal governmental entities to support a wide range of projects that provide benefits targeted to the needs of impacted communities.

Areas of Interest

Consistent with IRA Section 50152(b)(1) and (2), this FOA invites applications for two areas of interest. As described in more detail below, the first area of interest pertains to siting and permitting activities and the second area of interest pertains to economic development initiatives. If an applicant is eligible to apply for both types of awards, a separate application must be submitted for each area of interest because each area of interest has distinct requirements. However, an applicant may propose more than one qualifying activity under a single area of interest within one application (for example, two siting and permitting activities, or three economic development projects).

Area of Interest 1 – Siting and Permitting Activities:

Applicants applying for support for siting and permitting activities under IRA Section 50152(b)(1) may propose one or more of the activities in paragraphs (A)-(E) below.

  • Studies and analyses of the impacts of the covered transmission project.
  • Examination of up to 3 alternate siting corridors within which the covered transmission project feasibly could be sited.
  • Participation by the siting authority in regulatory proceedings or negotiations in another jurisdiction, or under the auspices of a Transmission Organization (as defined in section 796 of title 161) that is also considering the siting or permitting of the covered transmission project.
  • Participation by the siting authority in regulatory proceedings at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or a State regulatory commission, or relevant authority within an Indian Tribe, for determining applicable rates and cost allocation for the covered transmission project.
  • Other measures and actions that may improve the chances of, and shorten the time required for, approval by the siting authority of the application relating to the siting or permitting of the covered transmission project, as the Secretary determines appropriate.

Area of Interest 2 – Economic Development Activities:

Under IRA Sec. 50152(b)(2), this FOA supports economic development activities that benefit communities impacted by a covered transmission project. These economic development grants can be awarded to siting authorities or to any other state, local, or Tribal governmental entity for activities that will promote economic development in communities that may be affected by the construction and operation of a covered transmission project. Applicants will need to show that the activities proposed will benefit communities expected to be impacted by the construction or operation of a covered transmission project, i.e., an interstate transmission line proposed to operate at no less than 275 kV on land or an offshore transmission line expected to operate at no less than 200 kV. In addition, achieving environmental and energy justice objectives is a priority for these funds.

Two additional application phases will be held in Summer 2024 and Fall 2025. DOE intends to accept a second round of concept papers in August 2024, with full applications due winter 2024-2025, and a third round of concept papers in fall 2025, full applications due winter 2025-2026.

Related Resources

Additional information is available on the Resources page.

Funding Details

Funding Source:
Funding Type:
Grant - match required
Total Amount Available:
$300000000.00
Limit per Applicant:
$50,000,000
Estimated Awards:
80

Applicant Guidance

Contact Information

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