Section 40101(d) of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) established the Grid Resilience Formula Fund Program, which will provide a total of $459 million each year for five years to States and Indian Tribes. The funds available under this program are intended to improve the resilience of the electric grid against disruptive events, such as reducing shut offs due to extreme weather or natural disaster. Maine is currently scheduled to receive nearly $2.2 million for each of the next five years. Maine tribal nations will also separately be allocated their own funding amount.
As grant applicants, states and tribes can sub-grant funds to eligible entities such as electric grid operators, electricity storage operators, electricity generators, and transmission owners or operators. Applicable uses under the program include a range of resiliency measures, such as undergrounding of electrical equipment, utility pole management, hardening of powerlines, or the use or construction of DERs (distributed energy resources) for enhancing system adaptive capacity during disruptive events, including microgrids and battery storage subcomponents. The funds may not be used for cybersecurity, the construction of new electric generating facilities, or large-scale battery storage facilities that are not used for improving system adaptive capacity. In November 2022, the Department of Energy (DOE) put out clarification that grant funds or cost match may not be used to purchase and install an emergency generator, and additionally specified that construction of new solar generation for microgrids is not an allowable cost.
To receive the state formula allocation, the GEO must submit a program plan to DOE detailing the objectives, metrics, and criteria that will guide future funding decisions under the program. Based on the preliminary program requirements, the program objectives should center around resilience and energy justice concerns, such as reducing the frequency and duration of outages in disadvantaged communities. Following the grant award, GEO plans to stand up a competitive funding process to issue grants to eligible entities in the state.
The GEO will hold a public hearing on program objectives, metrics and criteria on February 9, 2023 from 12:00 - 1:00 PM. In advance of the public hearing on February 9th, interested parties may provide feedback on the draft program narrative, linked below. Several prompting questions are included within the document following the Objectives and Criteria sections. Within the document, text in red indicates application instruction language provided by DOE. Comments may be submitted to email@example.com anytime before 5 pm, January 31st, 2023. The GEO will consider all feedback received when finalizing the program plan for submission to DOE.
- Draft Program Narrative for Public Input (PDF)
On September 1, 2022, the DOE extended the application deadline for states and tribes to submit plans for the grid resilience funds from September 30, 2022 to March 31st, 2023. DOE released additional guidance with several updates to the original federal program guidelines in late November. Following the public hearing, the GEO will submit a plan for the funding in advance of the new March 31, 2023 deadline. The GEO will apply for the combined 2022 and 2023 funding allocations in this year's application, totaling close to $4.4 million.
GEO held a virtual informational webinar on August 9, 2022. Meeting materials are posted below.
How to Get Involved
Future meetings related to this program will be posted in advance on this website, as well as on the State of Maine Public Calendar.
For more information or to sign up for the interested parties email list, please contact Allie Rand, Energy Analyst, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- August 9, 2022 webinar
Date: August 9, 2022
Time: 12pm - 1pm
Location: Virtual meeting