Jamestown Gazette

Schumer Announces Jamestown Awarded $17+ Million Through Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law

Law to Power Up New Microgrid for Reliable Affordable Electricity Downtown, Create New Good Paying Union Jobs, and Improve Grid Resiliency for Broader Jamestown Community in Extreme Weather

Article Contributed by
Senator Chuck Schumer

U.S. Senate Majority Leader

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer today announced $17,377,945 through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program for the Jamestown Board Of Public Utilities (JBPU) to create a new microgrid system. Schumer explained that this major federal investment is powered by the historic investments he secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law and will help Jamestown improve their electric infrastructure to alleviate power outages and provide electricity for public services, schools, hospital and more during emergency situations like snowstorms.

“Get ready Jamestown, because our Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law is supercharging investment into the city’s energy resilience. Anyone in Western New York knows how snowstorms often pose a severe risk to our electric grids, knocking out power for days and putting lives at risk. This $17+ million federal boost will help Jamestown build a new microgrid so electricity can continue to flow for public services, schools, the city’s hospital and more during emergency situations,” said Senator Schumer. “When I led the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law to passage, it was the win-win-win of life-saving investments in grid resilience – like those Jamestown has proposed – that simultaneously create good paying jobs locally, and promote affordable electricity that I had top of mind. I am proud to help deliver this major federal investment to power Jamestown’s electric future and supercharge the infrastructure Western NY needs to keep our communities safe in extreme weather.”

“For over 100 years, Jamestown’s BPU has been at the forefront of providing resilient, reliable electricity to the residents of our city – even in the most extreme weather events. With this Bipartisan Infrastructure Law announcement and the creation of the Jamestown Community Microgrid Project through a $17 million investment, we will continue that tradition and have never been more equipped to limit outages and ensure that our public services continue running smoothly in times of crisis,” said Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist. “Not only will the microgrid support our city and enable life-saving energy to be accessed during the times it’s needed most, it will be developed entirely by our local workforce. Our people are our greatest asset and with the BPU’s commitment to hire 100% unionized labor, every dollar from this grant will remain within the city. We thank the Department of Energy, the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, and Senator Schumer for their continued belief and tireless advocacy for this investment in Jamestown.”

“We are extremely grateful to the Department of Energy for this remarkable award,” stated BPU General Manager David L. Leathers. “Federal funding of our microgrid project allows us the opportunity to deliver reliable and resilient electricity in the case of a widespread outage, directly impacting our customers and our community. We look forward to working with the Department of Energy to finalize this work.”

Schumer explained that The Jamestown Community Microgrid Project will provide the city with the resources needed to deliver a reliable and resilient electricity grid to the downtown corridor and broader community during regional power outages. The microgrid will enable life-saving energy to be delivered during the severe snowstorms that often hit the city, boosting public and emergency services, schools, senior and assisted-living housing facilities, homeless shelters, small businesses, electric vehicle charging stations, and the regional hospital in the City of Jamestown. The JPBU aims to hire 100% unionized labor throughout the duration of the project supporting IBEW Local Unions 106 and 459, as well as the Jamestown Professional Firefighters Association Local 137. The project includes a $17,377,945 federal cost share, matched with a $5,792,648 local cost share. The senator this critical project will be vital for providing resilient electricity to critical infrastructure and public services to mitigate power outages for extreme weather including heavy lake-effect snowstorms.

Established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the U.S Department of Energy’s Grid Deployment Office is administering a historic $10.5 billion investment via the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) program to enhance grid flexibility, improve the resilience of the power system against growing threats of extreme weather and climate change, and ensure American communities have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity when and where they need it. These programs will accelerate the deployment of transformative projects that will help to ensure the reliability of the power sector’s infrastructure, so all American communities have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity anytime, anywhere. More specifically, the Grid Resilience Utility and Industry Grants support the modernization of the electric grid to reduce impacts due to extreme weather and natural disasters. This program will fund comprehensive transformational transmission and distribution technology solutions that will mitigate multiple hazards across a region or within a community, including wildfires, floods, hurricanes, extreme heat, extreme cold, storms, and any other event that can cause a disruption to the power system. The program will prioritize projects generating the greatest community benefit in reducing the likelihood and consequences of disruptive events.

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