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Heinrich, Horsford, Lee Introduce Bicameral Bill To Build A More Resilient, Reliable 21st Century Electric Grid

Lawmakers praise the inclusion of transmission ITC in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) and Susie Lee (D-Nev.) introduced the Electric Power Infrastructure Improvement Act to improve the resilience of the grid and support new projects that connect modern renewable energy resources to the power demands of regional consumer markets. The bill would create an investment tax credit to help promote construction of regionally significant transmission projects across the nation. 

President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan announced last week includes a targeted investment tax credit that incentivizes the buildout of high-voltage capacity power lines and mobilizes tens of billions in private capital off the sidelines – right away. 

“We have made significant progress in the last decade in clean energy generation. However, we are simply not doing enough to incentivize investments for the required transmission capacity. Tax incentives have proven to be a major signal to investors to put their capital behind wind and solar. We should encourage the same type of growth for the infrastructure that will deliver the power from these and other clean energy resources to market,” said Heinrich, who first introduced the Electric Power Infrastructure Improvement Act in 2019. “I am thrilled that President Biden has placed clean energy and bold investments in America’s infrastructure at the forefront of his plan to build back better. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to power our economic recovery and put Americans to work by solving our long-term climate challenge. Too many families in New Mexico are living without internet access, clean water, and reliable electricity. The American Jobs Plan is our opportunity to change that. We will make our grid more reliable and our homes more resilient. We will improve everyone's quality of life and create millions of good paying jobs in our communities.” 

“As Nevada works to recover and rebuild from the coronavirus epidemic, our investments in 21st-century infrastructure will play a key role in job creation. The Electric Power Infrastructure Improvement Act will create good-paying jobs for Nevadans while supporting projects that connect modern renewable energy sources to regional consumer markets, alleviate the strain on existing transmission lines, and improve the resilience of the grid,” said Horsford. “I am excited to see President Biden making historic commitments to energy infrastructure and prioritizing clean energy investment in his American Jobs Plan. As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, I will continue to advocate for tax incentives that encourage modernization of our energy infrastructure and create opportunities for hard-working Nevadans.” 

“Southern Nevada consistently leads the way when it comes to solar energy,” said Lee. “The Electric Power Infrastructure Improvement Act will help keep Nevada at the cutting edge of energy development, while bringing more jobs and diversifying our economy, which is more important than ever as our economy has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. President Biden has made it clear that investments in clean energy will be a cornerstone of the American Jobs Plan. That’s because investing in clean energy, particularly solar, is an undeniably smart move at a time when we need to both reduce our carbon footprint and create good-paying jobs. That’s why I’m proud to re-introduce the Electric Power Infrastructure Improvement Act.” 

The Electric Power Infrastructure Improvement Act would provide an investment tax credit of 30% for regionally significant transmission projects. Projects that would qualify for the investment credit are:

  • Overhead, underground or offshore transmission lines, including ancillary facilities,
  • At least 500 megawatts and 275 kilovolts in capacity,
  • Either AC or DC,
  • Deliver power produced in either a rural area or offshore, and
  • Are placed in service by December 31, 2031.

Senator Heinrich, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has been a champion for building a more secure and robust 21st century energy infrastructure, which is critical to realizing the nation's true clean energy potential and creating jobs. His efforts to secure multi-year extensions of production and investment tax credits have spurred major growth in the wind and solar industries in New Mexico. 

A copy of the Electric Power Infrastructure Improvement Act is available here

The bill is supported by the American Clean Power Association, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)and Americans for a Clean Energy Grid.

“Sen. Martin Heinrich, Rep. Steven Horsford and Rep. Susie Lee’s introduction today of the Electric Power Infrastructure Improvement Act adds to the growing momentum for a federal transmission investment tax credit (ITC). As we saw this winter, America’s outdated grid infrastructure is hurting consumers and our economy. With a transmission ITC, we can enhance grid reliability, create jobs, save consumers money, and provide developers with the long-term certainty they need to invest in a 21st century Macro Grid that’s capable of delivering the clean energy future Americans want and deserve. We look forward to working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass this critically important legislation this year." said Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO, American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).