The Energy Department unveiled a program today that will finance demo projects aimed at showing how grids can reliably operate on a mix of renewables, storage and other distributed resources, Ben writes.

  • “Americans do not have to choose between a clean grid and a reliable one,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

Why it matters: The White House has a target of achieving 100% zero-carbon power by 2035, but that would require sweeping transformations even as renewables and storage are steadily gaining ground today.

How it works: Per DOE, the funding through the bipartisan infrastructure law will support up to 10 projects.

  • The department says that as the grid mix evolves, operators need “new tools to manage this increasingly complex network” and respond to cyberattacks and extreme weather.
  • The projects will also aim to show “how a clean energy grid prevents blackouts by quickly identifying and responding to faults.”

The intrigue: The plan to solicit funding applications arrives amid a growing corporate and public policy effort to pioneer round-the-clock sourcing of zero-carbon electricity.

While some companies and local governments aim to match annual demand with clean power, it still means pulling from grids with fossil fuels.

Andrew contributed reporting.

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