The Futures Institute

Upgrading Our Electric Grid and Ensuring Reliability and Resiliency

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Program Upgrading Our Electric Grid and Ensuring Reliability and Resiliency

About

This grant provides federal financial assistance to demonstrate innovative approaches to transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure to harden and enhance resilience and reliability; and to demonstrate new approaches to enhance regional grid resilience. The grant can be used to coordinate and collaborate with electric sector owners and operators — (A) to demonstrate innovative approaches to transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure to harden and enhance resilience and reliability; and (B) to demonstrate new approaches to enhance regional grid resilience, implemented through States by public and rural electric cooperative entities on a cost-shared basis. 

Eligible Uses

Grant Award

TBA (A total of $1 billion annually)

Eligible
Recipients

State and tribal governments, combinations of states, units of local government, and public utility commissions.

Restrictions

20% match required 

Due Date

March 17, 2023. This grant will be repeated.

Agency

Department of Energy 

Materials Needed

Unknown

Application Difficulty

Unknown

Evidence on Investments in Environmental Justice

Promoting environmental justice is central to improving safety in communities, as well as addressing long-standing racial inequities. Across the United States, many more people die each year from air pollution than from all homicides combined. Our poorest communities are those most exposed to climate-related disasters. Access to green spaces and restoring vacant land have all been shown to reduce many types of violent crime. Green jobs create financial security now while building environmental safety now and in the future.  These environmental investments have been shown to improve public safety. Improving air quality has been shown to decrease crime rates. And access to green spaces and restoring vacant land have all been shown to reduce many types of violent crime. 

The bottom-line is simple: investing in environmental goals can help advance racial and economic justice while also creating a more sustainable planet. 

Evidence on Investments in Built Design

Over the years, research has shown that basic investments in built design—in streetlights, parks, road design, public transportation, and addressing vacant lots—has significant implications for community safety. Decades of criminology research has found a link between built design and residents’ safety. This growing body of literature should influence how urban planners and local policymakers leverage our most basic resource: the design of our physical space.

Overall, the design of urban spaces has been shown to have crime-reducing effects. Recent studies in multiple jurisdictions, including PhiladelphiaBaltimore, and Youngstown, have found that maintaining green space reduces certain types of crime. A rigorous study found that restoring vacant land in cities significantly improves both local residents’ perception of their safety, as well as their actual physical safety. Restoration projects produced large reductions in crime, including a 30 percent reduction in gun violence. Increasing public transportation options for residents has a direct effect on economic opportunities, while reducing certain types of crime, and reducing traffic congestion may lower rates of domestic violence in areas with high congestion. In New York City, research demonstrated that streetlights can reduce “index crimes”—including murder, robbery, aggravated assault, and some property crimes—by more than a third. And improving streets and sidewalks so that they enhance pedestrian safety has been shown to reduce crime. 

In short, the evidence makes clear that by carefully considering our physical space and letting community members drive improvements that they feel to keep them safe, we can make significant progress toward reducing violence and other harms. 

Grant Writing Resources

Grants.Gov Resources

Applicant Training Videos (step-by-step guide on how to find grants, set up an account on grants.gov, and submit an application)

Applicant FAQ page

Other Resources

Community Toolbox’s Applying For Grants Toolkit (Outline of process + example applications)

FAQs

Q: What is community safety? 

A: We use the term “community safety” as well as “non-carceral safety” to indicate an approach to reducing violence and harm that invests in people over punishment. This can include unarmed civilian first responders and community violence prevention, but must also center preventative and root-caused focused solutions such as investments in schools, healthcare, and the environment. These solutions not only create holistic safety by improving well-being, they have been directly tied to reductions in violence. 

Q: How do the grants in the American Rescue Plan and other recent bills fit into this database? 

A: This database contains grants contained both in specific legislation (like the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs act, and the Inflation Reduction act) but it focuses primarily on grants funded annually through the federal budget process. Please see our resources specifically on ARPA and IIJA for more information on funding opportunities in those bills. 

Q: Where should I go if I have additional questions? 

A: Feel free to reach out to samwashington@civilrightscorps.org with questions or comments. If you’d like to suggest a grant, please fill out this form

 

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