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September 5, 2023

NDEE receives federal grant to improve grid resiliency

LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) was awarded $10.8 million for the Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

This grant, provided through the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act, enables NDEE to move forward to improve the reliability of Nebraska’s electrical grid and to enhance the grid’s recovery after disruptive weather and attacks. Today’s grant award encompasses funding for years one and two of the five-year program. NDEE expects to receive $5.4 million each year for three additional years for a total award of $27 million.

NDEE is working to create its Grid Resiliency Grant Program, which will distribute the federal funds through a competitive grant process to projects that strengthen and modernize the state’s power grid. The agency will provide funding to the electricity industry to enhance the grid’s ability to withstand and recover from storms, heat waves, physical attacks and cyberattacks.

As grid-impacting weather events – as well as intentional attacks – become more frequent and intense, and as reliance on the grid increases due to the transition from fossil fuels to electricity, it is imperative that the grid become even more reliable and resilient to maintain electricity flows to critical uses in homes, hospitals, nursing facilities, business and more.

“With this program, Nebraska’s citizens will be able to count on a steady supply of electricity for their homes and Nebraska’s businesses will continue to be among the most reliable and competitive in the country,” NDEE Director Jim Macy said.

“This program will help Nebraska’s publicly owned utilities move forward with projects in their queue which improve the reliability and resilience of the grid in the face of increased stressors as well as increased demand,” Energy Section Supervisor Aaron Miller said.

With federal rules finalized and the Nebraska program approved, NDEE can now move forward to complete program parameters and specifications. NDEE intends to accept preproposals in early 2024 and advise prospective grantees which projects should be developed into full proposals. Then, NDEE will evaluate proposals and send a set of them to the U.S. Department of Energy for final approvals.

A detailed webpage will be posted at the NDEE website as program development progresses.