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# DOE Pours $3B into Transmission Lines, Energy Storage, and EVs May 23, 2022 by Shannon Cuthrell ## With its aggressive funding, the DOE will look to counter growing integration gridlock, ensure stability in the face of intermittent renewables, and catalyze an as yet sluggish shift to EVs. Adding to a slew of initiatives established by last Fall’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) earlier this month unveiled three new funding programs to improve the nation’s power grid, incentivize the development of long duration energy storage, and advance EV battery technologies. The latest investments add to the DOE’s ongoing series of programs to boost the power grid and EV battery supply chain. You can read EE Power’s summary of those here. ### An Aging Network, and a Growing Queue With America’s aging transmission network in desperate need of upgrades, the DOE announced on May 10 a$2.5 billion revolving fund to help spur the construction of new and improved high-capacity lines across the U.S.

Dubbed the Transmission Facilitation Program, the initiative will use three financing avenues to incentivize new projects: loans, public-private partnerships, and capacity contracts with the DOE. Most notably, under the latter the DOE would agree to purchase up to 50% of a transmission line’s maximum capacity through 40 years, until market demand rises to cover the investment costs.

The DOE has estimated that over 70% of the nation’s transmission lines and power transformers are more than 25 years old. Other outside estimates show that over one-fourth of the grid is 50 years or older.

##### A fourth of U.S. transmission lines may be 50 or more years old. Image used courtesy of Denisse Leon/Unsplash

Further, the DOE’s announcement noted that in order to meet the increased demand for renewable power and electrification, the U.S. would need to expand its electricity transmission systems by 60% before 2030—or possibly even triple by 2050.

Yet, the construction of new high-voltage transmission lines fell from an annual average of 2,000 miles to just 700 miles over the last decade. Should that trend continue, the result will be intensifying gridlock.

According to a recent DOE report, the queue of power plants seeking interconnection access has now topped 930 gigawatts (GW) of solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal and nuclear capacity, plus another 420 GW in energy storage projects. For scale, that amount slightly exceeds the 1,175 GW of clean power capacity and storage needed to meet the White House's target of 80% clean electricity by 2030.

##### The extent of the queue for new transmission connections in the U.S. Screenshot used courtesy of the DOE

Through a request for information (RFI), the DOE is currently seeking stakeholder feedback on the implementation approach for the program.

### Incentivizing Extended Energy Storage Projects

##### Despite robust sales for automakers such as Tesla, EV adoption in the U.S. has been slower than in comparitive markets. Image used courtesy of Taun Stewart/Unsplash

EVs4ALL aims to eliminate barriers to EV adoption by funding fast-charging systems, efficient batteries capable of withstanding cold temperatures in northern states, and efforts to extend mileage for long-distance traveling. Specifically, the program seeks proposals involving batteries capable of reaching 80% charge in five to 15 minutes, reducing low-temperature performance losses by at least 50%, and retaining a minimum of 90% capacity after delivering 200,000 miles of equivalent and cumulative range.

Per the agency's funding opportunity announcement, EVs4ALL’s individual awards could range from $1 million to$6 million. Concept papers are due on June 16, though the full submission deadline has yet to be announced.