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Spectrum News1: Texas mulling decision to apply for federal funds to bolster power grid

Posted by Reena Diamante on Jul 26, 2022

Spectrum News1 explored the future of the Texas power grid in the wake of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, quoting AEE's Ignacio Guajardo on the best solutions for a clean grid. Read snippets below and the full article here.

The State of Texas faces a decision whether to seek some federal funding under the bipartisan infrastructure bill President Joe Biden pushed through Congress to help strengthen the state’s power grid. After a deadly winter storm left millions of Texans freezing and in the dark, all eyes are on the state’s power grid amid this summer’s extreme heat. 

“If we’re seeing an incredible increase in demand, the best way to solve it in the near term, short term, you should be looking at demand-side solutions, as complementary to, you know, midterm and long-term solutions with new build-outs and new technology,” Ignacio Guajardo, executive director of Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, said. 

Some business and advocacy groups believe funding under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could help in that process. The Department of Energy announced an initial round of $2.3 billion in grant money will be available to bolster power grids across the country. In this first phase, Texas could tap into more than $30 million, but is eligible to receive $150 million over five years, according to the group Advanced Energy Economy, the national group associated with TAEBA. 

“To effectively address events such as Winter Storm Uri, and the extreme heat we’re currently experiencing, we cannot only build new power plants, the demand side of the equation, for example, should also be addressed,” Guajardo said. “The funds can be used as surge funding, for example, to quickly deploy a more expansive set of energy efficiency measures to reduce demand. Energy efficiency, it’s a low-cost resource and addressing it is foundational to the state.”  

Guajardo said the state could use the money for a variety of purposes, including microgrids, energy storage and backup power systems at critical facilities. It could also help certain communities vulnerable to rising energy costs, he said. 

Read the full article here.

Topics: Federal Policy, 21st Century Electricity System, AEE In The News, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, Texas