Tax credits to develop smart grid manufacturing facilities in U.S.


Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 11, 2010 – Eight smart grid companies, among them Itron, have been awarded tax credits under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for investments in manufacturing facilities for clean energy technologies.

Itron receives a credit of $5.151 million to support its plans to re-equip its West Union, SC facility to produce the OpenWay CENTRON smart meter.

Other smart grid company recipients are as follows.

Cooper Power Systems was awarded two credits of $0.495 million and $0.846 million respectively for new facilities in Nacogdoches, TX that will produce electrical transformers with amorphous steel cores, and in Waukesha, WI that will produce high efficiency transformers.

Ice Energy was awarded a credit of $1.508 million to expand its Hammondsport, NY facility to design and manufacture energy storage modules for use with direct expansion air conditioners commonly found in commercial and small industrial applications.

Metglas Ltd was awarded a credit of $4.89 million to purchase equipment for its Conway, SC facility for a casting expansion to increase domestic production of amorphous metals that form the core of the most energy efficient transformers.

Premium Power was awarded a credit of $3 million to establish a manufacturing facility at its North reading, MA headquarters to produce its proprietary Zinc-Flow® advanced renewable energy storage systems.

S&C Electric Company was awarded a credit of $5.1 million to re-equip its Chicago, IL facility to produce a fault interrupting device for overhead distribution system smart grid applications, and switchgear for underground distribution system smart grid applications.

Southwire was awarded a credit of $2.211 million to re-equip its Carrollton, GA facility for new manufacturing lines to produce cables optimized specifically for wind and solar applications that will extend the grid to allow for collection of power within renewable energy systems.

Waukesha Electric Systems Inc was awarded a credit of $12.45 million to expand its Waukesha, WI plant to produce very large, high voltage power transformers, more than 80 percent of which are expected to be used to help bring renewable energy to distant load centers or to replace aging, less efficient transformers.

The credit is a 30 percent tax credit, with a total of $2.3 billion in tax credits being allocated on a competitive basis to 183 manufacturing facilities in 43 states. Other qualifying technologies were solar, wind, geothermal, or other renewable energy equipment, fuel cells and microturbines, energy storage systems for electric or hybrid vehicles, carbon dioxide capture and sequestration equipment, equipment for refining or blending renewable fuels, and plug-in electric vehicles or their components.

According to a Department of Energy statement these credits for advanced energy manufacturing facilities should generate more than 17,000 jobs. Matching investment of as much as $5.4 billion in private sector funding should support up to 41,000 additional jobs.

Because of the interest in gaining credits, with more than 500 applicants requesting credits totaling over $8 billion, Congress is being requested to provide an additional $5 billion to expand the program.

In a separate funding action under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded funding of $1.404 million to Fluke Electronics Corporation of Everett, WA to develop an instrument for calibrating measurements of phasors to facilitate deployment of the smart grid in the U.S.