Federal infrastructure investments will strengthen Washington communities

There is a lot to unpack in the historic bi-partisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act recently passed by Congress. This infrastructure package provides us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to repair and rebuild our roads and ports, expand broadband, combat climate change and more. Multiple federal agencies administering the $550 billion in new funding will determine the allocations for each state through a variety of programs over the coming months. While the final impact here in Washington is not yet known, initial state-by-state estimates based on formulas and past funding actions summarized in a CNBC article  suggest a potential $8.6 billion to our state.

In addition, once competitive funding program guidelines are determined, we believe the impact will be much higher for Washington communities. In particular, Commerce is well-positioned to see significant benefit as we leverage new funding opportunities to build on our priorities and state funding in clean energy and broadband.

Some highlights of potential funding we'll be receiving or competing for a share of include:

Grid infrastructure and resiliency

•    Electric Grid Reliability and Resiliency program: $6 billion over 5 years, $1 billion set-aside for rural/remote areas
•    Smart Grid investment matching grants: $3 billion
•    Columbia Basin Power Management: $1.11 billion
•    State Energy Program: $500 million over 5 years
•    Rural/Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity grants and technical assistance: $250 million

Supply chains for clean energy technologies
•    Battery processing and manufacturing: $3.1 billion
•    Electric drive vehicle battery and second-life applications: $1 billion

Fuels and technology infrastructure investments
•    Establishing regional hubs for Clean hydrogen ($9.5 billion) and Carbon removal for direct air capture projects ($3.5 billion)
•    Hydropower production, efficiency improvements and maintenance incentives: $753.6 million (total for FY22, three programs)
•    Offshore energy storage: permits offshore energy storage, including battery storage for offshore wind

Energy efficiency and building infrastructure
•    Weatherization assistance: $3.5 billion in FY22
•    Energy efficiency and conservation block grants: $550 million
•    Energy storage demonstration projects: $505 million
•    Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Capitalization grants: $250 million for FY22

•    State deployment grants: $40 billion
•    Digital Equity Act: $2.75 billion to establish national formula and competitive programs around inclusion
•    Rural area support: $2 billion
•    Tribal broadband connectivity program grants: $2 billion

•    State, local, Tribal and territorial grants: $1 billion over 4 years for cyber resiliency
•    Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Program: $1 billion

•    $3.85 billion for land ports of entry
•    $912 million for ferry boat and terminal construction

•    $7.5 billion for charging networks and alternative fuel corridors
See a full summary here (https://www.commerce.wa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/IIJA-Summary-for-...).

Equitable investment is one of my top priorities as director of Commerce. We will be partnering with community leaders, local governments and others to ensure these investments and funding opportunities help strengthen all our communities. We look forward to learning more and sharing what we know as more details become available.

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