State announces launch of $10 million grant to improve Arkansas electric grid

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 706 views 

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) announced Tuesday (April 2) that proposals are now being accepted for the 2024 Grid Enhancement Grant funding. More than $10 million will initially be distributed to utilities and related companies to prevent electric outages and enhance the resilience of the state’s electric grid.

An additional $5 million in funding is anticipated in late 2024.

Since the grant program was announced in late 2023, DFA has coordinated with other departments and industry stakeholders to develop a process that makes the grant accessible to small and large utilities.

“A year ago, Arkansans united to support the citizens and communities affected by the devastating tornadoes,” said Gov. Sarah Sanders. “Today, the grid funding is one more way the state continues to recover and prepare as we enhance our electric infrastructure across Arkansas. Strengthening our electric grid will protect Arkansans for years to come.”

The money is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. All six members of Arkansas’ Congressional delegation voted against the Act which was signed into law in late 2021.

The Grid Enhancement Grant program seeks to strengthen and modernize America’s power grid against natural disasters. In addition to utilities, examples of those that may qualify for this grant include electric grid operators, electricity storage operators, electricity generators, transmission owners or operators, distribution providers and fuel suppliers.

“Grid funding will allow utility providers and others to supplement investments to increase the certainty and reliability of services at lower costs to the citizens,” said Becky Keogh, Infrastructure Coordinator for the state of Arkansas. “Providing funding to rural portions of the state is especially important to ensure we are prepared in every area if the state faces a natural disaster.”

The deadline to submit a proposal is July 19, 2024. Instructions, supporting guidance and the related application may be found at this link.

Due to the competitive nature of this program, DFA will provide answers to questions that are broadly applicable to eligible applicants by posting an updated FAQ document with responses.