ASPIRE Awarded $2 million by DOE for Resilient Grid Infrastructure
On Oct. 18, Utah State University’s ASPIRE engineering research center was selected for a $100 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to implement resilient grid infrastructure in rural and underserved communities across the country.
The team, led by PacifiCorp, was selected for the award under the DOE’s Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership Program. USU will receive $2 million to focus on community engagement and workforce development in Eastern Utah through pre-apprentice programs with USU Eastern and multiple high schools across the counties.
USU’s ASPIRE engineering research center was selected for a $100 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to implement resilient grid infrastructure in rural and underserved communities across the country.
ASPIRE will play a role in the PacifiCorp Equity-aware Enhancement of Grid Resiliency project, which is designed to reduce the impact of extreme weather events on portions of the electrical grid serving disadvantaged communities in areas at highest risk for wildfire.
“We are delighted that ASPIRE gets the opportunity to be involved in this life changing project,” said Regan Zane, Director of ASPIRE. “Our team will work hard to serve underrepresented communities through our research, engagement and workforce development.”
ASPIRE will also assist with another project related to a DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office award that will begin on Jan. 1, 2024. This award is with the Crater Lake Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Center as the lead. USU will receive $425k for curriculum development and assessment on pre-apprentice programs and community engagement in Eastern Utah, similar to the other award.
As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Grid Deployment Office administered the GRIP program to enhance grid flexibility and improve the resilience of the power system against growing threats of extreme weather and climate change.
It is the hope of the DOE that these programs will accelerate the deployment of transformative projects and help to ensure the reliability of the power sector’s infrastructure, so all American communities have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity anytime, anywhere.