Federal funding for sustainable and resilient infrastructure

Written by Fiona Straton, Senior Marketing Lead for Urban Infrastructure, AVEVA

Over the next five years, more than $1 trillion will be invested into American infrastructure as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). With investment opportunity benefiting every state, this is the largest infrastructure package in U.S. history and includes $550 billion in new funding for bridges, airports, waterways, public transport, and more. But what does this mean for digital transformation? And how do infrastructure companies provide more sustainable and resilient infrastructure?

Show me the money

The funding approved by the IIJA in November is gradually making its way from the federal treasury to federal agencies, with most programs receiving the total amount of funding over a five-year period. Infrastructure companies can expect that federal agencies will start to announce funding opportunities early in 2022, then award funding in late Spring of 2022, with prospects to secure funding continuing for the next few years.

Where infrastructure companies can focus

With the bill focusing on modernizing infrastructure and the American economy, the key for many companies will be identifying investment opportunities that help them realize more sustainable and resilient infrastructure.

Having a clear idea of where to prioritize your funding applications and the potential return on investment will go a long way to bring about success.

Let’s review some of the bill’s highlights and some use cases to consider:

Revitalizing American manufacturers and small businesses

What’s in the bill: $500 million for energy and efficiency upgrades at small- and medium-sized manufacturers

Infrastructure plan ambition: Strengthen manufacturing supply chains for critical goods; protect Americans from future pandemics; jumpstart clean energy manufacturing.

Proven real-world applications and ROI:

  • Accelerate the digital transformation of manufacturing operations, safeguarding quality, and safety. Genentech realized a 50% acceleration in medicine manufacturing timescales.
  • Increase production capacity. New Belgium Brewing Co. increased overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) by 20% and reduced downtime by more than 50%), allowing them to operate at full capacity and double case production.

Renewing the electrical grid

What’s in the bill: $65 billion to modernize the nation’s grid

Infrastructure plan ambition: Modernize power generation and deliver clean electricity; building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy.

Proven real-world applications and ROI:

  • Modernize the grid to accommodate intermittent renewable energy and facilitate system sustainability during critical events. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) embraced a data-driven approach to increase sustainability and achieve corporate and state carbon emission goals.
  • Improve outage response time, increase efficiency. DTE Energy shortened delays and inefficiencies associated with restoring power after an outage, reducing customer outages by an estimated 500,000 minutes per year.

Creating resilient water infrastructure

What’s in the bill: $50 billion to make communities safer and infrastructure more resilient

Infrastructure plan ambition: Make communities safer and water infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change and cyber-attacks; invest in weatherization.

Proven real-world applications and ROI:

  • Optimize operations and reduce costs while keeping people healthy and safe. With improved automation and notification, Spokane Water reduced its lost water rate to 6%, one of the lowest in the United States.
  • Triage incidents quickly and safely during extreme weather events. Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) monitored; weather changes, flooding levels, and wastewater system performance in real time, leading to greater system insights and faster response times.

Delivering clean drinking water

What’s in the bill: $54 billion to repair water infrastructure

Infrastructure plan ambition: Modernize America’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems; tackle new contaminants; and support clean water infrastructure across rural communities.

Proven real-world applications and ROI:

  • Drive resiliency and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The City of Boise’s groundbreaking phosphorus removal facility removes 8,000 tons of wet solids from the Boise River every year, and it operates on AVEVA’s System Platform.
  • Ensure water safety and reliability while meeting regulatory compliance.
    Pima County has increased operational efficiency by 50% and reduced overall energy consumption by 10% with our situational awareness and mobile workforce solutions.

Upgrading buildings

What’s in the bill: $475 million for energy audits and building upgrades

Infrastructure plan ambition: Invest in the modernization, sustainability, and resilience of federal buildings; build, preserve, and retrofit more than two million homes and commercial buildings.

Proven real-world applications and ROI:

  • Realize efficiency gains in the face of fluctuating energy demands, weather conditions and fuel prices. UMass have reduced operation cost by three percent or about $900,000 in savings per year and production results are now available outside the control room as an educational tool for students.
  • Improve the safety of indoor air quality.
    CosaTron can now perform analysis of data over time and provide high-value, remote air quality monitoring services for building owners and facilities managers alike, allowing clients to see air quality displays in real time on site.

Modernizing public transport

What’s in the bill:

  • $39 billion to modernize transit
  • $5.75 billion to replace thousands of transit vehicles with clean, zero-emission vehicles

Infrastructure plan ambition: Repair and upgrade aging infrastructure, modernize bus and rail fleets, and make stations accessible to all users; train the transit workforce to maintain and operate new vehicles.

Proven real-world applications and ROI:

  • Reduce development time and improve operational efficiency. Norfolk Southern Railway cut development time by as much as 50% while increasing the work efficiency of both yardmasters and trainmasters.
  • Improve fixed asset reliability. Maintenance workers at Société de Transport de Montréal (STM), the public company that manages Montreal’s subway and bus system, accessed real-time information to spot asset anomalies, reducing maintenance time and improving customer experience in real time.

Getting started

The sheer scale of this bill can make it difficult to know how to capitalize on the opportunity, so it makes sense to break it down into smaller steps:

  • Identify the funding available to you – How much is available, and how do you access it? Is it via grants, cost-sharing, or federal financial assistance?
  • Prioritize your investment case – Perform in-depth analysis and risk assessments to understand your investment priorities and formulate an expected return on investment. For instance, if you could save even 1-2% of your operating costs, how much would that be over one or five years? Would modernizing your infrastructure reduce the need for other bonds or taxes, or even open up new revenue streams?
  • Identify your stakeholders – For digital transformation to be successful, you need to drive change through your organization. Having key stakeholders invested from the beginning will go a long way towards ensuring you don’t get stuck in “pilot purgatory.”
  • Understand your options – Once you have a budget, priorities, and stakeholders, you can go deeper into the solutions available to you. To help accelerate your modernization projects, look for suppliers who offer proven industrial solutions and real-world success.
By connecting you with trusted information and insights, AVEVA can help you build back better. Whether it’s understanding what the bill means for your particular situation, or how industrial software can help you deliver more resilient and sustainable infrastructure, our team of experts is here to help.