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Jan 30 -- The Department of Energy (DOE) Grid Deployment Office (GDO) invites public input for its Request for Information (RFI) regarding issues related to the provision of grants to facilitate the siting of interstate and offshore electricity transmission lines, as authorized under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). This provision of the IRA authorizes the issuance of grants to siting authorities to facilitate the siting of interstate and offshore electricity transmission lines and to siting authorities and State, local, and Tribal governments to undertake economic development activities for communities impacted by such projects. Information collected from this RFI will be used by DOE for program planning purposes and the potential development of a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Responses to this RFI must be received by no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on February 28, 2023.

The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from the public on siting authority and economic development activities that could be supported by grants under section 50152 of the IRA. DOE is also seeking feedback on the overall goals and programmatic objectives that DOE should consider when making grants under this section, including those related to environmental and energy justice, equity, job quality, and tribal cultural resources.

Section 50152 of the IRA authorizes the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) to make grants to siting authorities to carry out certain eligible activities that will facilitate the siting and permitting of certain interstate onshore and offshore electricity transmission lines. Section 50152 also authorizes the Secretary to make grants to siting authorities, or other State, local, or Tribal governmental entities, for economic development activities in communities that may be affected by the construction and operation of these transmission projects. The IRA makes funding for such grants available through September 30, 2029.

To help inform DOE's implementation of section 50152 of the IRA, this RFI seeks input on the following topics related to grants under this section:

A. Eligible Siting Activities With Respect to Covered Projects
B. Economic Development Activities for Affected Communities
C. Equity, Energy, and Environmental Justice

The complete RFI be found at: https://www.energy.gov/​gdo/​transmission-siting-and-economic-development-grants.
 
DOE is particularly interested in understanding how the Transmission Siting and Economic Development Grants program can:

-- Identify, develop, and deploy resources and tools that improve the efficiency of siting and permitting proceedings, helping to reduce the time it takes to reach decisions on proposed electric transmission projects.
-- Increase community and stakeholder engagement in siting and permitting processes, create quality jobs and ensure workforce continuity, address local community needs and impacts, and reduce conflicts that can stall the development of needed electric transmission infrastructure.
-- Identify and prioritize economic development projects in communities that may be affected by the construction and operation of covered transmission projects, including disadvantaged, underserved, and frontline communities.  
-- Identify opportunities, strategies, and approaches to advance environmental justice and equity in disadvantaged communities impacted by siting of transmission projects and to increase the resilience of power delivery.
 
Information collected from this RFI will be used for program planning purposes and in the development of a potential Funding Opportunity Announcement.
 
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-01820

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