Oregon secures $20 million in federal funding for electrical grid updates in low-income and tribal lands

Thursday, July 13, 2023

By: News Staff


Low-income communities and tribal lands will receive nearly $20-million for electrical grid improvements, Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Thursday.

The funding will ensure that these communities will have access to affordable and reliable clean energy.

“Oregon families without means and Tribal families in Oregon have been on the front lines of the climate emergency in their communities – some losing power for days due to winter storms, and others losing acres of land from wildfires sparked by aging power lines,” said Wyden, who secured $5 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for Oregon and the country to secure the power grid from extreme weather and natural disasters to prevent wildfires. “The climate fight must include a significant investment in making our power grid more resilient to extreme weather events, especially for families trying to make ends meet and the Tribes that have inhabited this land since time immemorial. We cannot wait to act on this public safety issue.”

Nine states and three tribal nations were awarded a combined total of $207.6-million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. The grants were funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and will go towards helping modernize electric grids to reduce impacts of extreme weather and natural disasters, while also ensuring power sector reliability.

 “Oregonians shouldn’t have to worry about their life being at risk because they’ve been stranded for days or weeks on end without electricity, or because a stray power line spark started a catastrophic wildfire,”Merkley said.”Especially as summer droughts and intense winter storms become more common, now is the time to invest in our power grids and reduce the chance of outages or sparks.”