*New generation is NOT an eligible under this program.

*All awards are subject to final approval from the US Department of Energy.

Virginia Grid Reliability Improvement Program (VGRIP)

The objective of the Virginia Grid Reliability Improvement Program (VGRIP) is to enhance the resilience of the electric grid against disruptive events. Per IIJA section 40101(a)(1), a disruptive event is "an event in which operations of the electric grid are disrupted, preventively shut off or cannot operate safely due to extreme weather, wildfire or a natural disaster.

Virginia is committed to assuring that all Virginians have access to affordable, abundant and reliable energy. This federally funded program will enable Virginia to partner with utility providers and other eligible entities to limit disruptive events that adversely impact our homes, schools, businesses and critical infrastructure.

The program objectives, eligibility, metrics, funding details, cost share requirements, equity approach, application process and selection criteria are provided in this program guidance.

Total Amount of Funding Available: Up to $10,402,496.20

Proposal Period of Performance: Five years, up to 10 years if justified and approved

Proposal Amount: Sub-Awards up to $5,000,000 are allowed under this program. The Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy) may elect to partially award proposals at its discretion.

Applications due March 29, 2024

Program Objectives and Metrics:

All subaward proposals are required to meet one or more of the following objectives. Proposals should detail which objectives will be met and present metrics that will demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the program.

Objective #1: Reduce the duration and frequency of outages caused by events that disrupt normal grid operations.

Metrics: Metrics that measure resilient infrastructure include System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) and Customer Minutes of Interruption (CMI). These will be considered to demonstrate measurable improvements in energy resilience. Examples of metrics that will be considered are listed below.

  • Annual number of outages
  • Average duration of outages
  • Total annual duration of outages
  • Annual number of outages in disadvantaged communities
  • Duration of outages in disadvantaged communities
  • Number of components and systems replaced or hardened

Objective #2: Conduct enhanced grid modeling for transmission and distribution planning to reduce disruptions by informing strategic investment and deployment of innovative technologies such as microgrids, battery storage components and adaptive protection technologies.


Example metrics to be evaluated include, but may not limited to, the following:

  • Number of under forecasted periods
  • Average Locational Marginal Pricing (LMP)
  • Identification of critical potential failure points
  • Identification of leverage points
  • Failure rates
  • Identification of current or future line congestion and bottlenecking

Objective #3: Invest in modernization of the grid infrastructure enabling consumer access to reliable, affordable and clean energy. Modernization of the grid will allow Virginia to mitigate disruptive events that leave students without critical internet connection, prevent residents from heating and cooling their homes and leave critical infrastructure like data centers and commercial and industrial facilities without reliable electricity.


Example metrics to be evaluated include, but may not limited to, the following:

  • Number of under forecasted periods
  • Evaluation of impacts to peak time pricing
  • Peak time rebates
  • Smart thermostat distribution
  • Deployment of Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS)
  • Battery storage subcomponents installed along transmission lines
  • Number of jobs created following the investment in modernizing grid infrastructure
  • Job training programs developed or utilized to attract, train and retain an appropriately skilled workforce

Objective #4: Address other outdated and/or failing energy infrastructure items and materials (i.e., power lines, power poles, transformers, bucket trucks, etc.). Implement hardening of power lines, facilities, substations and other systems to reduce outages.


  • Annual frequency of electricity service disruptions of one hour or more to critical facilities and/or residences and businesses
  • Number of components and systems replaced or hardened
  • Number of hours/days critical facilities are closed due to lack of electricity
  • Average age of item and/or material used in current electric grid operation (by category)
  • Added value to the electric grid infrastructure with the addition of more modern and energy-efficient material

Objective #5: Attract, train and retain an appropriately skilled and certified workforce within Virginia for deployment, operation and maintenance of grid resilience projects.


  • Number of workers trained to operate and maintain grid resilience projects and other energy related projects
  • Number of Virginia businesses that develop capacity to install, operate and/or maintain grid resilience projects
  • Documented collaboration and coordination with the newly created Virginia Department of Workforce Development and Advancement (DWDA) agency

Equity Approach

It is essential that all Virginians have access to affordable electricity 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Virginia is committed to assuring that none of its citizens are asked to carry a disproportionately high burden in terms of energy costs and in environmental and social impacts from the energy infrastructure.

Virginia Energy will assure funding is used to achieve the greatest positive community impact, in enhancing grid resiliency and investment in job creation and training, while minimizing negative impacts to the environment and neighboring communities.

Energy justice efforts will focus on ensuring historically disadvantaged communities (as defined in the MPDG 2022 NOFO and consistent with OMB's Interim Guidance for the Justice40 Initiative) are neither disproportionally harmed by infrastructure-development nor excluded from project benefits. Focus will also be placed on advancing purposeful inclusion of these communities during the infrastructure-development planning process. There is a commitment to build partnerships and provide the opportunity for meaningful engagement and involvement. Concerns will be heard, appropriately responded to and addressed.

Justice40 requirements

  • For certain federal projects like this program, it is recommended that 40% or more of the benefits are intended to benefit disadvantage communities as laid out in federal executive order.

  • The project team (including all sub awardees) will use existing partnerships with Justice 40, environmental justice and brownfields communities to advance these priorities.

Tools for Justice 40 Evaluation and Analysis:

Explore the map - Climate & Economic Justice Screening Tool (geoplatform.gov)

Energy Justice Dashboard (anl.gov)

Virginia EJ Screen

Selection Criteria:

Top priority will be given to resilience projects that:

  • Support reliable energy for residents, critical services, businesses and industry
  • Serve low-income and energy-burdened communities
  • Best advance the economy of Virginia through sustaining or creating jobs and creating opportunities for new economic development
  • Address specific identified disruptive events that have or have potential to adversely impact customers

Funding Distribution and Cost Share

Eligible entities receiving subawards are required to match 100% of the federal allocation unless they supply below 4,000,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year. If below the threshold, the subaward match is one-third of the amount. Virginia Energy is also required to provide 15% match based on the total award. Due to limited state funding dedicated to related efforts, Virginia Energy will pass the 15% state match to the proposed projects. Sub-recipients share of the state match will be calculated based on the ratio of individual sub-award to the total amount of funding available for projects (up to $10,402,496.20).

Cost share requirements are expected to include cash or documented in-kind contributions in accordance with the grant requirements. Cost share requirements are required for all proposals submitted under this program. These requirements will also be verified upon completion of the projects.

Cost Share Examples:

Federal Funding Share Required Cost Match for Project (100% or 1/3) State Cost Match of 15% provided by Applicant Total Project Cost
$1,500,000 $1,500,000 $236,848.41 $3,236,848.41
$1,500,000 $500,000 $236,848.41 $2,236,848.41

Build America Buy American Act, Davis Bacon Prevailing Wage, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Historic Preservation

  • All recipients (and sub-recipients) will be required to submit an environmental questionnaire for each work location proposed in the application in compliance with NEPA.

  • All recipients (and sub-recipients) will be required to comply with Build America Buy American, Davis Prevailing Wage and Historic Preservation laws per the terms and conditions of the award.

  • Sub-award recipients are required to conduct compliance audits for these requirements and to submit any adverse findings to Virginia Energy. Audit documents must be provided upon request.

General Reporting Requirements

Funding recipients will be required to track all relevant expenditures, cost match, program metrics and provide reports to Virginia Energy on a quarterly basis. Additional guidance for this required reporting is found at the following link:

EERE Technical Report Template (doe.gov)

Additional reporting requirements apply to projects funded by BIL. As part of tracking progress toward key Departmental goals - ensuring justice and equity, creating jobs, boosting domestic manufacturing, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing a pathway to private sector - Virginia Energy is requiring specific data collection.

Additional data collection includes:

  • project locations
  • measurable improvements of resilience
  • transmission capacity upgraded, expanded or built
  • electricity storage capacity installed
  • funding leveraged
  • stakeholders engaged
  • technical assistance provided
  • value of contracts or agreements with minority owned business for supplies, services or equipment

Sub recipients must maintain sufficient records to substantiate this information upon request.

Each project proposal should include plans for documentation of invoiced work as well as quarterly progress reports summarizing work completed and providing applicable information discussed above.

Contracting and Invoice Payment

Subaward Recipients will be required to enter in contract agreement with Virginia Energy after receiving the award. This agreement will include the enclosed federal terms and conditions as well as required state terms and conditions. Contracts involving construction are subject to retainage amounts up to 5% of the contract value.

Invoices will be paid in accordance with Virginia laws and regulations. Final payments may be withheld until final internal auditing of each contract is completed.


All subaward applicants must use the application format provided. Applications may include additional attachments to support the application, but these should be limited to essential information.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include:

  • an electric grid operator
  • an electricity storage operator
  • an electricity generator
  • a transmission owner or operator
  • a distribution provider
  • a fuel supplier
  • any other relevant entity as determined by the Secretary of Energy