$1.5 billion in IRA funding strengthens DOE national laboratories

By U.S. Department of Energy | November 11, 2022

The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy, on Nov. 4 announced $1.5 billion from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act to build and upgrade America’s national laboratories. The resources will upgrade scientific facilities, modernize infrastructure, and address deferred maintenance projects at DOE’s Office of Science-managed national laboratories, which are regional hubs for innovation, including clean energy technology that supports good-paying jobs and lower energy costs for families. This historic amount of support will help achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s vision to advance solutions-driven research and innovation conducted by America’s best and brightest scientists to tackle the nation’s greatest challenges and achieve the President’s ambitious climate goals.  

“America’s commitment to science and ingenuity shaped us into the world leaders we are today, and the continued success of our national laboratories will ensure we’re at the global forefront of innovation for generations to come,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, these world-class institutions will receive $1.5 billion—one of the largest ever investments in national laboratory infrastructure—to develop advanced energy technologies and groundbreaking tools like Argonne National Laboratory’s powerful new supercomputer, Aurora, that we need to advance new frontiers, like modeling climate change and developing vaccines.” 

“Our world-class system of national labs has enabled American innovation and made the U.S. the world leader in science and technology for generations,” said White House Senior Advisor for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation John Podesta. “The investments in national labs in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act will help drive clean energy innovation, boost our economy, lower costs for families, create good-paying American jobs, and combat the climate crisis here at home and around the world.”  

On Nov. 4, at DOE’s state-of-the-art Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, Secretary Granholm joined White House Senior Advisor for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation John Podesta, Office of Science and Technology Policy Deputy Director for Energy and Chief Strategist for the Energy Transition Sally Benson, and other senior White House and DOE officials. The visit underscores DOE’s swift action to allocate funds for science and research infrastructure provided by President Biden’s Agenda, and the critical role that DOE and the National Labs play in the newly released White House report on U.S. Innovation to Meet 2050 Climate Goals. The additional investments made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act will deliver critical benefits to the national laboratory complex that will spur and support climate science and innovation while also creating local jobs and helping attract and retain the highly skilled workforce needed to tackle the climate crisis. 

DOE’s Office of Science is the nation’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences and the lead federal entity supporting fundamental research for clean energy. The Office of Science oversees the majority of DOE’s national laboratories, as well as various programs and facilities, which help achieve its mission of delivering major scientific discoveries, capabilities, and tools to transform the understanding of nature and to advance America’s energy, economic, and national security. However, decades of underfunding across DOE’s network of national laboratories have put the Office’s mission at risk and threatened America’s scientific and technological competitive edge over adversarial nations like China and Russia.   

To address this funding backlog, the Office of Science received an additional $1.55 billion in FY 2022 through the President’s Inflation Reduction Act to accelerate ongoing facility upgrade projects and national laboratory infrastructure projects. Projects include continuing construction of everything from cutting-edge electron colliders to the world’s fastest supercomputers, as well infrastructure upgrades for systems like fire alarms, electrical, and updated HVAC systems to ensure DOE’s national laboratories are modern, safe, and reliable.  

The Inflation Reduction Act will provide funding for:   

    •Advanced scientific computing research facilities  

    •Basic energy sciences projects  

    •High energy physics construction and major items of equipment projects  

    •Fusion energy science construction and major items of equipment projects  

    •Nuclear physics construction and major items of equipment projects   

    •Isotope research and development facilities

    •Science laboratory infrastructure projects  

White House Factsheet: More information on the Inflation Reduction Act’s funding and a new White House Game Changers Initiative can be found here.  

More information on the funding announced today can be found here and a complete list of funding for each facility can be found here.  

Building on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to innovation, the funding announced today has already been distributed to selected projects to address a wide variety of long-term priorities and accelerate ongoing projects for critical facilities and other infrastructure. Together with President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the CHIPS and Science Act, the Inflation Reduction Act will position America to lead the world in the industries of the future and strengthen America’s ability to confront our biggest challenges, from climate change to quantum computing and everything in between.  

To learn more about DOE’s Office of Science and its priorities, click here.