Tester Secures $14 Million to Strengthen Montana’s Energy Grid Against Wildfires and Extreme Weather Events
Grid Resilience grant funding comes from the Senator’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced today he secured more than $14 million to strengthen Montana’s energy grid against wildfires and extreme weather events. This funding comes from the Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grants program which Tester secured as part of his bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Tester was the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation to support IIJA, and was one of the lead bipartisan negotiators who crafted the package.
“As a third-generation Montana farmer, I know firsthand that wildfires and extreme weather events can disrupt electricity and create real challenges for communities across our state,” said Tester. “Montana small businesses and families need an energy grid they can rely on, which is why I’m proud to have secured this funding in my bipartisan infrastructure law to modernize Montana’s electric grid and help make sure we can keep the power on all across our state.”
The funding secured by Tester will improve the reliability and resilience of the electrical grid by reducing the vulnerability to disruptive events and the consequences of outages to community facilities and critical infrastructure. The grant funding will be used to limit wildfire ignition from transmission and distribution equipment and increase the skilled workforce in Montana to operate and maintain resilience measures.
Tester has led the charge to bolster Montana’s robust energy portfolio and modernize the state’s power grids. Through the IIJA, he secured significant investments to improve and modernize Montana’s electrical grid to support the next generation of energy. His bipartisan infrastructure law also supports clean energy research and development in the Montana University System.
Tester worked across the aisle for months to negotiate the IIJA with a group of five Republicans, four Democrats, and the White House. Tester’s law is projected to create more than 800,000 American jobs and lower costs for businesses by making targeted investments that will strengthen our nation without raising taxes on working families.
Tester secured significant wins for Montana in the legislation, including $2.82 billion for Montana’s roads, highways, and bridges; $2.5 billion to complete all authorized Indian water rights settlements; $1 billion to complete all authorized rural water projects through the Bureau of Reclamation; $65 billion to deploy broadband to areas across the country that lack internet access and additionally make online connectivity affordable; and $3.37 billion to reduce wildfire risk nationwide, among others. A full list of Montana provisions in Tester’s bipartisan infrastructure law can be found HERE.