Co-op seeks funding for grid resilience projects - Great River Energy

Co-op seeks funding for grid resilience projects

Great River Energy employees recently completed a massive effort to submit applications for the second round of funding from the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program, which is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Among other things, the GRIP program will provide funds for projects in the arenas of grid resilience, smart grid and grid innovation.

The cooperative submitted two applications requesting approximately $70 million from the program. Owen Henriksen, Great River Energy’s transmission strategy specialist, said the funding would expedite projects that the cooperative already has an eye on and allow it to seriously consider integrating technologies that may otherwise be unattainable today.

“GRIP funding would provide us an opportunity to catalyze projects and pilot new technologies,” Henriksen said. “Innovation has long been in Great River Energy’s DNA and securing GRIP awards would allow us to continue leading amongst G&T cooperatives in pioneering technologies that benefit our member-owners.”

Some of the projects Great River Energy is seeking funding for include battery storage as a transmission reliability solution; clean air breaker technology to minimize greenhouse gas emissions from breakers; advanced substation monitoring to increase predictive maintenance practices and improve situational awareness for security monitoring; integrating storm impact analytics technology, which would allow for faster outage restoration through proactively positioning response crews and material ahead of severe weather events; and advanced conductor technology to get more transmission capacity out of existing infrastructure and rights of way.

Great River Energy will learn this summer if it receives pre-selection interviews. Awards are expected this fall.

“Competition is fierce, but we feel our proposals stand out and bring a lot of value back to the state and Great River Energy member-owners. Several elected Minnesota officials, too, see this value and are advocating for our proposals in D.C. and to the Department of Energy,” Henriksen said.

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