(WHTM) – PPL Electric Utilities Corporation has received a $49.5 million grant to develop “The Grid of the Future.”

The funding announced Wednesday was part of a $3.5 billion investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law covering 58 projects in 44 states.

According to the United States Department of Energy, “The Grid of the Future Project will deploy a suite of technology investments to create an automated grid that predicts failures, reduces outages, increases resilience, improves customer affordability, and maximizes grid flexibility.”

The Energy Department said the anticipated outcomes and benefits of the project include:

  • Advance Pennsylvania’s state electrification goals by building a more reliable grid.
  • Reduce outage duration and prevent faults due to system disruptions during extreme weather events.
  • Increase the use of advanced automation technologies for greater energy reliability during disruptive events.
  • Deploy advanced data analytics with artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor outages, forecast changes in demand, and enhance real-time grid operations.
  • Decrease outage durations and outage frequencies, helping to ensure reliable electricity service for over 800,000 people living in disadvantaged communities (DACs).
  • Catalyze workforce development and the retention of skilled labor in local communities by creating up to 225 new job opportunities across the value chain.
  • Pay all laborers and mechanics employed under this project no less than the prevailing wage.

The goal of all Smart Grid Grants is to improve the flexibility, efficiency, and reliability of the electric power system.

“Extreme weather events fueled by climate change will continue to strain the nation’s aging transmission systems, but President Biden’s Investing in America agenda will ensure America’s power grid can provide reliable, affordable power,” said U.S Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today’s announcement represents the largest-ever direct investment in critical grid infrastructure, supporting projects that will harden systems, and improve energy reliability and affordability—all while generating union jobs for highly skilled workers.”