Dr Robert
Chair, California
Energy Commission
Sacramento, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 27, 2011 – Two California utilities, Glendale Water & Power and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), have been awarded funding of $1 million each from the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program to expand smart metering and the smart grid in the state.

Glendale Water & Power will use the funding toward its electric and water advanced metering infrastructure project, which is deploying more than 83,000 electric meters with remotely controllable switches, more than 33,000 water meters with leak detection and tamper-proof information, and a wide area network to allow two-way communications between the utility and meters. The $50.3 million project is also being funded with $20 million in ARRA funds and matching funding of $29.3 million from Glendale Water & Power.

SMUD will use its funding towards the launch of a comprehensive regional smart grid reaching the smart meters of its 600,000 customers. SMUD is partnering with the California Department of General Services, California State University, Sacramento, and the Los Rios Community College District to accelerate and expand advanced smart grid technologies throughout the Sacramento area. The company’s $308 million project is receiving more than $127 million in ARRA funds, while SMUD’s share is $180 million.

These awards are among a total of six that have been made in the latest round from the PIER program, which supports public interest research and development that helps improve the quality of life in California by bringing environmentally safe, reliable, and affordable energy services and products to the marketplace.

“These research projects will demonstrate the importance of energy research to power California’s economic recovery, study how we can reduce air pollution, and produce clean energy jobs,” commented Commission chair, Dr Robert Weisenmiller.