Financing to support smart grid initiatives in the U.S.


John Callies,
General Manager,
IBM Global Financing
Armonk, NY, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — May 5, 2009 – Up to $2 billion to finance IT initiatives in key economic stimulus areas, including the smart grid, is being made available by IBM Global Financing, the lending and leasing business segment of IBM, the company has announced.

The move is aimed at helping U.S. organizations move ahead with IT projects that could improve their infrastructure or competitive edge and point them in the direction of economic recovery.

“In order to fast track our nation’s recovery, there needs to be an increased focus on public and private partnerships,” said John Callies, general manager of IBM Global Financing. “This financing program is intended to help seed projects of the future that will improve citizen services and ultimately aid in our nation’s economic resurgence.”

The bulk of the $2 billion for technology projects for credit-qualified clients will come in the form of enhanced low rates and flexible payment options, deferred payment plans, financing facilities offering structured lines of credit, and specialized project financing packages that allow clients to align their payment streams throughout the course of the project to the anticipated benefits.

In a statement IBM said it is working with clients in nearly 50 smart grid engagements around the world.

Other stimulus areas that the financing will support are health information technology and broadband access.

In other stimulus funding developments California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has sent a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggesting among other issues, that the proposed cap of $20 million for smart grid projects be significantly increased to $200 million or be based on the size of the utility, so that the state’s large investor owned utilities are not disadvantaged in maximizing cost effectiveness.