WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 2021 – The GridWise Alliance today released a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to fully fund the GridWise call for at least $50 billion in federal spending to modernize the nation’s electric power transmission and distribution systems.
Thirty-seven participants in the Grid Infrastructure Advisory Council, created by GridWise Alliance earlier this year, and GridWise member organizations signed-on to the 2-page request, which offers recommendations on how investments in the nation’s electric system will make the grid more resilient, secure, and flexible. Collectively, the signatories on the letter represent $4 trillion of market capital, employ 1.6 million people in the United States, and represent 825,000 union workers.
“The U.S. electric grid is our primary platform to achieve net-zero energy goals, create good-paying jobs, and support a transition to a clean energy economy,” said Gil C. Quiniones, Chair of GridWise Alliance and President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority, the largest state-owned electric utility in the United States. “The organizations that have signed onto this letter are leading our energy transformation and collectively represent the varied elements of our vast electric power system. They understand the vital role that federal financing will play in ensuring the U.S. energy sector paves the way for a clean energy future.”
The GridWise proposal would direct federal funding to existing agency programs with well-established records of successfully implementing Congressional appropriations or tax incentives that can accelerate the deployment of grid-enhancing technologies and the training of a diverse workforce for the 21st Century grid. The goals of the proposed $50 billion investment in grid modernization include:
- Deploying technologies to enhance grid flexibility to integrate variable renewable resources, relieve transmission constraints, and reduce the need for new generation.
- Deploying technologies to enhance grid integration of buildings and electric vehicles.
- Enhancing grid cybersecurity and grow the cyber workforce.
- Reinvigorating the Section 48c domestic manufacturing tax credit and include grid-enhancing technologies.
- Modernizing utility communication networks to serve as the backbone of the smart grid and, where possible, leverage investments to provide broadband service.
- Strengthening resilience for critical infrastructure, including microgrids and storage for mission-critical public infrastructure and hardening of utility infrastructure.
- Expanding training, retraining and other programs to create a diverse pool of workers ready to take advantage of the digital, high tech grid jobs that will be created with grid investment funding.
GridWise Alliance also has expanded its Grid Infrastructure Advisory Council, adding to the already diverse panel of industry leaders. Esteemed new participants to the Advisory Council, chaired by Mr. Quiniones, are in bold:
- Keith Alexander, Chairman of the Board, Founder and Co-CEO, IronNet
- Anthony Allard, Executive Vice President, Country Managing Director, USA Hitachi
- Lisa Barton, Executive Vice President and COO, American Electric Power (AEP)
- Calvin Butler, Senior EVP of Exelon; CEO of Exelon Utilities
- Patrick Byrne, CEO, GE Digital
- Tim Cawley, President & CEO, Con Edison
- Tom Deitrich, CEO, Itron
- John Di Stasio, President, Large Public Power Council
- Joy Ditto, President, American Public Power Association (APPA)
- Tom Dunn, CEO, VELCO
- Julia Hamm, President & CEO, Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)
- John Hewa, CEO, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative
- Colette Honorable, Partner, Reed Smith LLP
- Barbara Humpton, President and CEO, Siemens
- Brad Keywell, Founder and CEO, Uptake
- Lee Krevat, CEO, Krevat Energy Innovations
- Robert Lee, CEO, Dragos
- Werner Lieberherr, CEO, Landis+Gyr
- Arshad Mansoor, President and CEO, EPRI
- Jim Matheson, CEO, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, (NRECA)
- Yvonne McIntyre, Director, Federal Electricity & Utility Policy, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
- Rose McKinney-James, Managing Principal, McKinney-James Associates
- Kenny Mercado, EVP of Electric Utility, CenterPoint Energy
- Phil Moeller, Executive Vice President, Edison Electric Institute (EEI)
- Drew Murphy, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development, Edison International
- Morgan O’Brien, CEO, Anterix
- Maria Pope, President and CEO, Portland General Electric (PGE)
- Gil C. Quiniones, President and Chief Executive Officer, New York Power Authority (NYPA), Chair, GridWise Alliance and GIAC Chair
- Jackie Sargent, General Manager, Austin Energy
- Kevin Self, SVP Strategy, Business Development & Gov’t Relations, Schneider Electric
- Tom Siebel, CEO, C3 ai
- James Slevin, President, Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA)
- Lonnie Stephenson, President, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
- Mahesh Sudhakaran, GM, Global Energy, Environment and Utilities Industry, IBM
- Sue Tierney, Former Assistant Secretary Policy, U.S. Department of Energy; Senior Advisor, Analysis Group
- Bert Van Hoof, Partner, Microsoft
- Clint Vince, Partner Dentons and Counsel of GIAC
- Karen Wayland, CEO, GridWise Alliance
- Joshua Wong, CEO, Opus One Solutions
- Elizabeth Yeampierre, Steering Committee Co-Chair, Climate Justice Alliance
- Audrey Zibelman, Vice President, Electric Grid Moonshot, X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory.
“This is a critical time for our nation’s power grid as a transition to new energy resources and increased reliability is demanded in all segments of the energy system,” said GridWise Alliance CEO Karen Wayland. “Grid modernization investments are essential to meet the goals of decarbonization, enhanced grid reliability and resilience, and affordability and equity. GridWise members continue to lead through example, developing our recommendations in a collaborative process with industry stakeholders. We look forward to working with Congress and the White House to on grid investments in any infrastructure legislation.”
The letter was submitted today to President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Congressional Leadership.
About GridWise Alliance
The GridWise Alliance (GWA) represents the broad and diverse stakeholders that design, build, and operate the electric grid. Since 2003, the GridWise Alliance has been at the forefront of educating key industry stakeholders on the critical need to modernize our nation’s electricity system. For more information about the GridWise Alliance, visit: www.gridwise.org.