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21 US states commit to modernizing their electricity grid to meet challenges and seize opportunities

Twenty-one states across the United States have committed to prioritizing efforts to adopt modern grid solutions aimed at increasing grid capacity and building modern grid capabilities on transmission and distribution lines new and existing. These states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico , New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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Ray Long, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), hailed the federal-state modern grid deployment initiative, supported by all 21 states, as an important step toward achieving a better connected transport system. Long stressed the importance of modernizing existing transmission lines and using public-private partnerships to deploy readily available technologies to meet energy goals.

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The U.S. power grid, built in the 1960s and 1970s, is struggling to cope with extreme weather events caused by climate change and growing demand for renewable energy. As 70% of transmission lines are over 25 years old and approaching the end of their life cycle, there is an urgent need to modernize them.

The Department of Energy (DOE) offers technical and analytical assistance programs to help states deploy advanced grid technologies. Funding opportunities through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act (BIL) allow states to access resources for grid upgrades.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) welcomed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) final rule on regional transmission planning and cost allocation, emphasizing the importance of reforms to address the benefits of clean energy in the transportation planning process.

Melissa Alfano, SEIA’s senior director of energy markets and general counsel, said she is pleased with FERC’s steps to improve the U.S. transmission system, including requirements for long-range regional planning.

Overall, the commitment of states and federal agencies to modernizing the U.S. power grid reflects a concerted effort to improve reliability, resiliency, and affordability while advancing clean energy goals across the country.