Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to accelerate power sector decarbonization

Posted on: November 9, 2021

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act sent to the President on Friday will help the energy industry modernize, expand, and protect our grid and our energy supply. The funding, programs, and targets that the bill establishes will accelerate the decarbonization of the power sector.

There is a lot in this bill – here are four key areas where Daymark is working with our clients.

 

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  • Transmission development | Large scale transmission projects are challenging to site and build. We work with our clients to identify, plan, and support the development of transmission projects, many of which may benefit from this bill. Easing the siting challenges for projects within National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors (NIETC) will support the development of needed infrastructure. In addition, the transmission facilitation program - which allows the Department of Energy to serve as “anchor-tenant,” issue loans, or enter into public-private partnerships in support of new or expanded transmission - will help drive development. Electrifying our economy while continuing to decarbonize the power sector requires significant new transmission investment. Aligning societal need with business opportunity is what our Daymark power system planning team analyzes for our clients.
  • Enhancing grid resilience | Recent history has shown us the cost of not hardening our grid against increasingly frequent disruptive climate events. Designing a reliable and resilient grid requires advanced modeling of risk to assess the cost-benefit of mitigating extreme events. Utilities and regulators need to make investment decisions in this uncertain environment. We work with our clients to understand these extreme tail events and help mitigate risk while planning for infrastructure expansion.
  • Enhancing grid flexibility | Smart grid technologies, storage, electrical vehicles, and other demand management tools are quickly becoming viable ways to enhance transmission and distribution flexibility. Investments in new technologies focused on enhancing operational flexibility will allow the system to more cost-effectively integrate renewable resources and adapt to new patterns of consumption and production through time. We are working with our clients who are pursuing opportunities throughout the country to invest in, develop, and deploy these technologies.
  • Electric vehicle and energy storage applications | The initiatives in this bill targeting electric vehicles – including measures designed to promote greater electrification of the transportation sector, funds for building out a national network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and other provisions - are important steps towards decarbonizing our economy. The buildout of electric vehicle infrastructure requires new thinking around electric vehicle tariffs and programs. We help utility clients with tariff design, understanding and balancing the needs of multiple market participants, and we help other clients as they work with regulators and utilities to develop programs and infrastructure that enable fleets to participate. Also noteworthy is the initiative to support a demonstration project for electric vehicle batteries used as aggregated storage installations for grid services. Our storage and electric vehicle clients know that batteries can provide more benefits than current regulatory and organized market structures support. This bill is an important step towards closing the gap between what the technology can do and what today’s rules value. Daymark has a unique capability to advise decision makers regarding the development of regulatory and market structures that support the efficient integration of storage projects into the organized electricity markets.

 

We partner with our clients to identify needs, plan, and design feasible and profitable projects, engaging with them from early screening of potential projects through to regulatory support.

We look forward to continuing the conversation,

Doug Smith | Principal Consultant | dsmith@daymarkea.com

Ashwin Balaji | Consultant | abalaji@daymarkea.com