Electric Grid Resilience

Preventing Outages While Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid

electric power lines
Electric power lines in Durham, NC

North Carolina is working to enhance the electric grid’s resilience through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Resilience State/Tribal Formula Grant Program (Section 40101d). Authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Section 40101d provides $2.3 billion in formula grants over five years to States and Tribes to modernize, strengthen and improve resilience of the electric grid against natural disasters and disruptive events. 

For the first two years of the grant, North Carolina received approximately $18.4 million and plans to administer funding to subawardees following a competitive proposal selection. Selected projects will reduce the likelihood and consequences of grid failure due to natural disasters.  

North Carolina Program Objectives

  • Grid modernization: Add grid technologies that strengthen resilience and increase the flexibility of the grid.

  • Equitable access to resilient and reliable energy: Invest in projects that will improve energy reliability and resiliency in disadvantaged communities, which are more impacted by outages and subject to higher energy burdens.

  • Equitable workforce development: Commit to equitable workforce development through projects that will attract, train and retrain an appropriately skilled workforce. 

hydroelectric substation dam
Hydroelectric substation at Hiwassee Dam in Murphy, NC

Request for Proposals

North Carolina is seeking proposals for Section 40101d – Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid – Grid Resilience Formula Grants for States and Tribes. Approximately $18.4 million, with $5.7 million set aside for small utilities, is available.  

Proposals will be accepted until Monday, July 29, 2024 (extended as of 5/20/2024) 

Request for Proposals

Tab/Accordion Items

North Carolina is the second-highest state in the nation for average electric power service interruptions per customer in total duration, averaging roughly eleven hours annually. In recent years, the state has faced multiple natural disasters. Storms are becoming stronger and more intense, taking an enormous toll on human life, the environment, public health, and our economy. 

Overall, the goal of the power grid and transmission system is to deliver reliable electricity at a reasonable cost. Weather-related hazards and other stressors to the system work against these goals by lowering efficiency of both the grid and transmission system and reducing the overall capacity. Additionally, long duration and large-scale outages impact hospitals and other critical services, halting emergency assistance for those in disadvantaged communities. 

The state is exploring several options to enhance the electric system’s adaptive capacity during disruptive events, such as:

  • Using and equipping microgrids with renewable energy and battery storage devices 

  • Hardening the grid/transmission infrastructure

  • Undergrounding existing distribution and transmission lines

  • Reducing demand for power

  • Modernizing existing grid assets with smart meters, controllers and automation

  • Leveraging analytics to manage a diverse source of power supply, transmission and distribution system components