The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is the largest investment in US infrastructure and includes major provisions for energy. With wide ranging initiatives from nuclear, hydrogen, and EV charging, the $550 billion investment will bring much needed change as we move to a more sustainable future. The investments in clean energy will boost the US within the global energy market and help insulate it from world events effecting market prices. Thus far, Genie Solar Energy see three initiatives to have the largest impact on our clients who are looking to have reoccurring, renewable, local generation for their facilities.
Transmission Upgrades – Increasingly, we are seeing capacity constraints conflict with clients’ goals to have onsite generation. Our grid is aged, is not designed to have generation localized and distributed. Under this initiative, the Department of Energy will identify critical transmissions needs and fund the buildout of transmission facilities. Independent estimates indicate the need for a 60% expansion of transmission system to support the administration’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035 and to triple the capacity by 2050 to support the growing electricity needs (i.e. transportation). With 70% of our grid’s transmissions lines and transformers over 25 years old, it was built to support the needs of the past. Further, as a growing number of clients are facing, interconnection queue times for projects are increasing – and will continue to increase with the growing need and rising energy prices.
Batteries – Storage to increase resiliency and decrease demand charges is a conversation most of our clients are having when they think about having on-site energy generation. Batteries are critical to the growing amount of generation created by environmental factors like the sun and wind. The funding in this bill will support the value chain of manufacturing from refining and production through end-of-life recycling facilities to be produced within the US. This will in turn enhance economic competitiveness and energy independence.
Supply Chain – From groceries to solar panels, supply chain disruptions have become an everyday discussion. Genie Solar has made strategic investments in our supply chain, like Prism Solar, to insulate our clients from rising prices and increased demand. However, our supply chain has also seen the implications of supply chain disruptions from basic materials like paving stones. The DOE published a comprehensive plan to support more than 60 actions to boost the US supply chain resiliency, stimulate domestic manufacturing, and support job creation. Titled, “America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy Transition”, it summarizes how the US can capitalize on the economic opportunity within the energy sector.
While there are no direct incentives benefiting, the historic investment in the nation’s core infrastructure will modernize the power grid, facilitate a national EV charging network, revitalize domestic manufacturing, and advance clean energy technologies.