Trying to follow new federal laws and understand how they affect you and your business can be a frustrating experience. Keeping track of all the acronyms, timelines, and federal agencies could be a full-time job on top of running your company. That’s why CEBN is starting a new blog series to unpack the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and clearly lay out how you can take advantage of the $1.2 trillion investment in new federal programs and funding opportunities. While future posts will offer deeper dives on components of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this first installment of the series provides an overview of the new law.
What is the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law?
If you don’t follow Capitol Hill closely, the passage of this new legislation last fall may have slipped your attention. Additionally, there can be bit of confusion over the various names for the law—when the bill was originally being negotiated, it was referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF); this framework eventually became the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). After passing through Congress with the support of Congressional Democrats and 32 Republicans, it was signed into law by President Biden on November 15, 2021 and rebranded as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The final package contains $1.2 trillion in funding for electric grid updates, road and bridge repairs, public transit, infrastructure resilience, broadband, clean water, and more.
How much of that funding is for clean energy?
BIL contains more than $80B in funding for clean energy, energy efficiency, and advanced transportation. The Department of Energy (DOE) will receive $62B over the next five to ten years to implement new and expanded programs. This total includes $21B for a brand new office—the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED). OCED is designed to fill a gap in federal funding by supporting clean energy technology demonstration projects, specifically for innovative technologies like clean hydrogen, carbon capture, grid-scale energy storage, small modular reactors, and more.
Other investments in clean energy include:
- $28.76B to enhance grid infrastructure and reliability
- $8.6B to develop and improve supply chains for clean energy technologies
- $4.74B for energy efficiency and building infrastructure programs
- $2.5B for the Transmission Facilitation Program – a revolving loan fund that enables DOE to serve as an anchor for up to 50% of capacity on new transmission projects
- $9B in funding for the Energy Act of 2020
- $7.5B to build out a nationwide electric vehicle (EV) charging network through a new Joint Office of Energy and Transportation between DOE and Department of Transportation (DOT)
- $1.6B for existing hydropower programs
- $8B for the 48C Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit
- $600M to improve cybersecurity and support public-private partnerships that enhance grid cybersecurity
This doesn’t even scratch the surface on everything that’s included in BIL, which is why we will be diving into some of these programs in depth to help you understand where your business or community can tap into and benefit from this historic legislation.
When will BIL be implemented?
Implementation of BIL has already begun. Federal agencies are making announcements every week about new initiatives, funding opportunities, and requests for information (RFIs). BIL outlines funding for dozens of programs, most of which are funded for the next five years. This long timeline means that DOE—and other federal agencies—will have time to determine effective strategies for standing up new programs and staffing up to support implementation. DOE is currently engaging in a hiring spree to recruit the required staff, so visit the Clean Energy Corps application portal if you’re interested.
How can I keep up with implementation?
Sign up for CEBN’s weekly newsletter here to receive BIL updates and links to new information in this blog series. The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) has also compiled information to help states and communities track BIL programs and find out about RFIs and funding opportunities through its Infrastructure Act Resource Hub.
Finally, the Department of Energy has curated a list of opportunities by program, and the White House has released a Guidebook that breaks down BIL for state, local, and tribal officials. This guidebook outlines funding opportunities and program-by-program information and may come in handy for determining where your technology or organization fits into BIL. Also check out the White House’s build.gov hub that includes helpful links to different programs and sectors supported by BIL.
How can my business, organization, or community benefit from the BIL?
DOE and other agencies frequently release funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) and requests for proposals (RFPs), which we will continue to flag in this blog series and in our Cleantech Funding Database. Also be on the lookout for requests for information (RFIs), which aim to maximize the effectiveness of implementation by getting feedback from subject experts.
Many of these solicitations can be discovered by signing up to receive updates from DOE and other agencies like DOT, EPA, USDA, and DOI that may announce programs relevant to your technology, and checking for new funding opportunities in our Cleantech Funding Database or Grants.gov.
We hope this introduction has cleared up any questions or sparked interest in BIL if you were unfamiliar before! Explore the entries for specific BIL programs here as we continue to Break Down the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.