TX Department of Emergency Management Awarded $60.6 Million for Electrical Grid Infrastructure

The federal government has designated $60.6 million to the Texas Division of Emergency Management to help utilities strengthen infrastructure on the state’s electricity grid.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday that it will award the funds so that Texas’ power grid can upgrade and mitigate extreme weather event disruptions. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law created the grant program.

“These grants will help modernize the electric grid to reduce impacts of extreme weather and natural disasters while enhancing power sector reliability,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

State emergency officials will develop a strategic plan to utilize the funds which could provide programs such as trimming trees around power lines or improving equipment operations in extreme heat or cold.

Grid resilience has been a matter of concern for Texans since the 2021 winter storm forced power grid operators to call for electricity cuts to millions in the state. Hundreds of people died as the freezing weather crippled the state and residents could not heat their homes.

Texas legislators later required power generators to better prepare their equipment for extreme weather but recent storms continue to highlight the ongoing vulnerability of the transmission system.

A winter storm earlier this winter knocked out power in various parts of the state, including Austin, where tree limbs weighed down with ice fell onto power lines. Severe storms in June destroyed power lines in East Texas

The Department of Energy plans to grant $2.3 billion over the next five years to states, territories and tribes to address power grid resilience issues.