The Infrastructure Act’s Impact on the Energy and Technology Industries – Publications


February 15, 2022

The Infrastructure and Workplace Investment Act (IIJA) is expected to provide an unprecedented level of federal spending on physical infrastructure, allocating $ 1.2 trillion not only to fund roads, bridges and railroads, but also to fund projects such as high-speed Internet. modernization of electrical networks. , and a network of electric vehicle charging stations (EV).

To date, more than half of the total $ 1.2 trillion has been allocated to “traditional” infrastructure, leaving approximately $ 550 billion left for additional projects, including broadband expansion and the promotion of clean technologies. Most of this money will be allocated through states and individual transportation agencies.

Morgan Lewis lawyers describe in detail some of the key provisions on energy and technology expected in the next round of funding.

Invest in Cleantech

Cleantech is paying attention to both the bill and its grant process, as more than $ 70 billion is expected to be allocated directly to electricity and grid costs.

Various grants have been set up for projects related to the promotion of energy storage, carbon sequestration, renewable mining and regional clean hydropower. The bill also creates a Bureau of Clean Energy Demonstrations in the Department of Energy (DOE) to oversee more than $ 20 billion that has been set aside for energy technology demonstration projects alone. And with a focus on U.S.-made products, IIJA is allocating $ 6 billion over five years to the domestic recycling and production of batteries to be used in energy storage.

It is important to review all agreements related to the allocation of funds for innovative technologies to ensure proper coverage of all obligations and rights related to intellectual property.

Modern electrical network

The law underscores Congress’ desire to create a modern electrical grid that spans both 21street century and is resistant to severe storms, forest fires and other related natural disasters.

To help these efforts, Congress changed the process of overseeing construction. Transmission developers now facing state-level permitting issues now have the opportunity to seek help from the federal government. The voluntary Energy Cyber ​​Sense program was created to detect and promote cyber-protected products for use in the mass power system and to allow technology providers to receive a federal cybersecurity assessment of their network equipment.

IIJA also allows DOE itself to collaborate with commercial gear developers who want to build new, cutting-edge transmission lines, paying part of the cost of these projects.

Electric vehicles

Another provision of the IIJA is the permission to conduct two studies related to EV: one on the impact of EV on the environment, and the other on how forced labor in China could affect the EV supply chain, which is of great concern given that Biden-Harris administration The goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 will be based on consistent EV production. The Public Service Commissions are now required to review all service areas and regulated organizations within their jurisdiction and identify the best ways to encourage the development and deployment of EVs, contributing to the aforementioned intention to establish a national EV charging and use network.

Expanding broadband technology

Aiming for a more even distribution of broadband across the country, $ 65 billion of IIJA is spent on expanding the technology – a significant increase from the $ 47.3 billion the federal government spent between 2009 and 2017 on the deployment of broadband infrastructure in rural areas.

Most of the funding will be allocated to two programs: (1) the Broadband Program, and the Broadband Deployment Program of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NCIA), under which each state will receive $ 100 million, plus additional funding determined by the Federal Commission. by communication. (FCC) Broadband map showing underserved areas in the United States; and (2) The FCC Affordable Connectivity Program, a subsidy for low-income families who cannot afford broadband.

See our Influence Infrastructure Act on the Tech Industry event page to view slides and listen to a recording of the presentation. For more information, visit our US Infrastructure page.

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