Sep 25, 2023 - News

Arkansas to get $10.3 million grant for electric grid

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill stylized as an electric symbol.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The state will receive $10.3 million in federal funding over two years to upgrade its electric grid, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration announced.

Details: The money — from the U.S. Department of Energy through the bipartisan infrastructure bill Congress passed in 2021 — will help prevent electric outages, according to state finance officials.

  • Projects that may qualify for the grant include weatherization technologies and equipment, fire-resistant technologies and fire prevention systems, undergrounding of electrical equipment, utility pole management, relocation of power lines and adaptive protection technologies.

Flashback: Thousands went without power in central Arkansas after storms this summer. Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas River Valley saw outages from winter weather in January.

What they're saying: "This year's historic natural disasters underscored the critical importance of our electric grid," Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a news release last week. "This investment will enhance our grid's resiliency to help in future crisis events, benefitting Arkansans for years to come."

The big picture: The country's electric grid system is in desperate need of modernization, writes Axios' Emily Peck. Extreme heat weakens power plants and power lines, while simultaneously increasing the need for air conditioning.

Be smart: The grid is how electricity gets to you. It includes the power plants that make electricity, the wires and poles that move it out of the plants, and the smaller wires and poles that directly connect your home to power.


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