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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) last week announced $34 million in grants to three tribal nations and two states to help modernize their electric grids and make them more resilient to extreme weather events. 

The grants are part of the Biden administration's Investing in America agenda to provide billions of dollars of capital for infrastructure projects across the country. In a statement, the DOE said three federally recognized tribes will receive funding that can be used to install new technologies to improve grid reliability, invest in workforce development and address the energy burden experienced by tribal members.  

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The Aroostook Band of Micmacs in Maine will use their funding to improve outdated or failing infrastructure and advance Tribal workforce development. The tribe will also use the funds to address the energy burden experienced by low-income Tribal members and disadvantaged Tribal communities.

Miccosukee Tribe of Indians in Florida will use their funding to reduce the impact of disruptive events on critical Tribal facilities serving Tribal citizens. The tribe will also use the funds to improve and update infrastructure and communications to enhance local grid control. The tribe will also use the funds to support Tribal workforce development and enhance green jobs and STEM-based skills of the Tribal workforce.

Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California (Carson Colony, Dresslerville Colony, Woodfords Community, Stewart Community, & Washoe Ranches) will use their funding to ensure that Tribal members and the Tribe’s critical community facilities are not impacted by weather events. The tribe will use the funds to modernize grid infrastructure and investments in clean energy while also addressing the energy burden experienced by low-income and disadvantaged Tribal communities.

Two state governments received funding in this round:  North Carolina and Missouri. 

"Every community deserves a strong and reliable energy grid that can deploy cleaner, cheaper power to homes and businesses, while keeping their lights on during extreme weather," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. "Thanks to the transformative investments in grid infrastructure under President Biden's Investing in America agenda we are strengthening America's workforce and preparing the nation for a more resilient, clean energy future."

The grants are the latest in a series of investments the Biden administration has made in the nation's electric grid. In March, the administration announced $2.3 billion in funding for the Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants program, which will distribute funds to states, territories, and federally recognized tribes over the next five years.

The administration has also proposed investing billions of dollars in other grid-related infrastructure projects, such as transmission lines and energy storage.