Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act summary

On Friday November 5, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the US$1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) (H.R. 3684). The Senate previously passed the IIJA in August. The bill now goes to President Biden and he is expected to sign it into law when Congress returns from recess on November 15. The IIJA is a key piece of the President's economic agenda under the larger "Build Back Better Plan." It includes historic investment in projects to improve U.S. roads, bridges, and ports and was a 2020 campaign pledge Biden made to rejuvenate the economy after the coronavirus pandemic. The bill also includes the largest investment in clean energy transmission and the grid in American history, according to a statement from the White House, which said the legislation will upgrade power infrastructure by building thousands of miles of new transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewables, while lowering costs. Specifically, the bill includes notable funding and authorizations for transmission development and clean energy development/battery storage, discussed further below.

Transmission Development

  • Section 40101—Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid: This section directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a grant program to support activities that reduce the likelihood and consequence of impacts to the electric grid due to extreme weather, wildfire, and natural disaster. This section authorizes US$5 billion for the period of fiscal years (FY) 22-26.

  • Section 40103—Electric Grid Reliability and Resilience Research, Development, and Demonstration: This section establishes the “Program Upgrading Our Electric Grid Reliability and Resiliency” program to provide Federal financial assistance to demonstrate innovative approaches to transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure to harden resilience and reliability and to demonstrate new approaches to enhance regional grid resilience, implemented through States by public and publicly regulated entities on a cost-shared basis. It also directs the Secretary of Energy to improve resilience, safety, and reliability and environmental protection in rural or remote areas and—in collaboration with Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)—to develop a framework to assess the resilience of energy infrastructure. This section authorizes US$5 billion for the period of FY22-26 for the Energy Infrastructure Federal Financial Assistance program and US$1 billion for the period of FY22-26 for Rural or Remote Areas.

  • Section 40105—Siting of Interstate Electric Transmission Facilities: This section directs DOE to study capacity constraints and congestion when designating National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors (NIETC). It also adds more objective criteria to the list of considerations the Secretary of Energy uses to select and designate an NIETC. The section adds that the FERC may issue permits for construction or modification of certain interstate transmission facilities if a state commission withholds or denies an application seeking approval for the siting of such facilities. It also directs FERC to consider whether the transmission permit applicant has engaged states and non-federal entities in good faith consultations and in a timely manner before exercising its backstop siting authority.

  • Section 40106—Transmission Facilitation Program: This section establishes a US$2.5 billion revolving loan fund to allow DOE to serve as an “anchor-tenant” for a new transmission line or an upgrade of an existing line. The section permits DOE to buy a certain portion of the planned capacity (not more than 50 percent), which it then may sell after determining that the transmission project has ensured financial viability. It also permits DOE to issue loans to or enter into public private partnerships with eligible transmission projects. It also authorizes US$10 million for each of FY22-26 to carry out the program.

  • Section 40107—Deployment of Technologies to Enhance Grid Flexibility: This section amends the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to include Smart Grid investments that provide flexibility and help quickly rebalance the electrical system, facilitate the aggregation or integration of distributed energy resources, provide energy storage to meet fluctuating demand, provide voltage support, integrate intermittent generation sources, increase the network’s operational transfer capacity, and anticipate and mitigate impacts of extreme weather events or natural disasters on grid resilience. The section authorizes US$3 billion for the Smart Grid Investment Matching Grant Program.

  • Section 40109—State Energy Program: This section authorizes US$5 million for the period of FY22-26 for the State Energy Program. It also amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to require State Energy Conservation Plans to support transmission and distribution planning activities.

Clean Energy Development and Battery Storage

  • Section 40112—Demonstration of Electric Vehicle Battery Second-life Applications for Grid Services: This section directs the Secretary of Energy to establish a demonstration project for second-life applications of electric vehicle batteries as aggregated energy storage installations to provide services to the electric grid.

  • Section 40207—Battery Processing and Manufacturing: This section establishes a “Battery Material Processing Grant Program” within DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy to ensure the US has a viable battery materials processing industry. This section also establishes within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy a battery manufacturing and recycling grant program to support and sustain a North American battery supply chain. This section also directs the Secretary to continue the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize and convene a task force on battery producer requirements. This section also establishes several programs within DOE that would provide grants for battery recycling research, development and demonstration, states and units of local government to assist in the establishment or enhancement of State battery collection, recycling, and reprocessing programs and retailers that sell batteries for the implementation or establishment of a system to collect used batteries. This section authorizes US$3 billion for FY22-26 for battery material processing grants, US$3 billion for FY22-26 for battery manufacturing and recycling grants and US$10 million for FY22 for the recycling prize and US$125 million for the battery recycling programs at DOE.

  • Section 40208—Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Recycling and Second-life Applications Program: This section would expand an existing program at the Department of Energy for research, development, and demonstration of electric vehicle battery recycling and second-life applications for vehicle batteries. This section authorizes US$200 million for FY22-26.

  • Section 40341—Solar Energy Technologies on Current and Former Mine Land: This section requires the DOE to create a report of the viability of siting solar energy on current and former mine land, including necessary interconnection, transmission siting, and the impact on local job creation.

  • Section 40342—Clean Energy Demonstration Program on Current and Former Mine Land: This section establishes a program to demonstrate the technical and economic viability of carrying out clean energy projects on current and former mine land in a compatible manner with any existing operations. This section authorizes US$500 million for the period of FY22-26.

  • Section 40552—Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program: This section authorizes US$550 million for FY22 for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program. This section also amends the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to allow EECBG funding to be used in programs that finance energy efficiency and other clean energy capital investments, projects, loan programs, and performance contracting programs.

  • Section 41001—Energy Storage Demonstration Projects: This section authorizes funding for the Energy Storage Demonstration Projects and Pilot Grant Program authorized by the Energy Act of 2020. This section authorizes US$355 million for FY 22- 25 for that program. This section also authorizes US$150 million for FY22-25 for a Long duration Demonstration Initiative and Joint Program.

  • Section 41007—Renewable Energy Projects: This section authorizes funding for the period of FY22-25 for renewable energy demonstration projects including $84,000,000 for enhanced geothermal systems, US$100 million for wind energy, and US$80 million for solar energy authorized by the Energy Act of 2020. It includes a provision making it clear that the authorization for wind energy is part of the Energy Act authorization. Industrial emissions demonstration projects.

  • Section 41201—Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations: This section establishes an Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations at the Department of Energy to coordinate activities relating to the selection, project management, and assessment of demonstration projects funded by the Department.

 

Authored by Hilary Tompkins, Neil Chatterjee, and Brian Malat.

 

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