White House to unveil 'unprecedented' 21-state initiative to modernize U.S. power grid

white house to unveil 'unprecedented' 21-state initiative to modernize u.s. power grid

White House to unveil 'unprecedented' 21-state initiative to modernize U.S. power grid

May 28 (UPI) -- The Biden administration on Tuesday will unveil a new initiative with 21 states to further promote the United States' transition to clean energy sources and better modernize the U.S. power grid as its infrastructure continues to be dated, according to the White House.

Ali Zaidi, the national climate adviser, called it "unprecedented," saying that it will "drive grid adaptation quickly and cost-effectively."

The "Federal-State Modern Grid Deployment Initiative" will comprise 21 states, all notably with Democrat governors: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin.

The White House and Department of Energy will make the announcement Tuesday at a summit with governors, regulators, utilities, labor unions and industry leaders "to explore innovative policy solutions to unlock the deployment of modern grid technologies and share best practices," according to a news release.

"We are investing tens of billions -- the most significant public investment in a generation -- to strengthen our grid to prevent power outages in the face of extreme weather, bolster U.S. energy security, and drive innovation," Zaidi told CNN in a statement.

The initiative aims to cut back on power outages and improve the capacity of electrical transmission. It comes as 800,000 have been left without power in Texas amid severe weather over the Memorial Day holiday weekend and into this week throughout the South and Midwest.

Many Texans could be without power for several days.

The Biden administration has a 2035 goal to have a carbon-neutral power grid. They have taken "critical steps," they say, to keep improving the country's power grid in lieu of congressional inaction before this year's presidential election, and point to ongoing upgrades of 100,000 miles of existing power lines.

But they note how, historically, expanding the U.S. power grid capacity "has typically relied on building new transmission lines with technologies that have not changed since the mid-twentieth century," in a process taking up to 10 years to finish.

Deploying new tools and technology means that renewables and other clean sources of power "can be integrated sooner and more cost-effectively than waiting for new transmission construction, which will address load growth challenges more rapidly, create good-paying jobs and lower Americans' utility bills."

The new initiative also came the same day new federal guidelines were put in place for corporations seeking to purchase carbon credits in an effort to offset their emissions.

"The next great crisis in this country, there's going to be a shortage of electricity," Texas A&M University Chancellor John Sharp said recently about the plan for the state system's 11 universities to get in the energy business as the border state with Mexico still sees energy demand increasing amid rising temperatures.

The United States' integration of renewable energy -- which includes the use of wind, solar, hydropower, biomass and geothermal -- for the first time in 2022 surpassed coal-fired generation of the U.S. electric power sector.

According to the White House, the country is projected to build more new electric generation capacity in 2024 than it has in 20 years, 96% of which will be clean energy, intended to "accelerate improvements to the electric transmission and distribution network, which are critical to meeting the country's objectives for affordable, clean, reliable, and resilient power."

Yet despite the decline in coal power generation, coal still holds "a significant share of the U.S. electricity mix, more than any renewable energy source," according to news site Oil Price.

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