Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 28, 2009 – United States President Barack Obama yesterday announced the allocation of almost $3.43 billion in the first round of smart grid stimulus funding awards.
The recipients include one hundred private companies, utilities, manufacturers, cities and other partners. With matching funding, the total project value will be $8.17 billion.
These awards represent the largest group of Recovery Act awards ever made in a single day and the largest batch of Recovery Act clean energy grant awards to date. In the coming days, cabinet members and administration officials will visit awardee sites across the country to discuss how this investment will create jobs, improve the reliability and efficiency of the electrical grid, and help bring clean energy sources from high production states to those with less renewable generating capacity.
The awards, which will benefit consumers in 49 states, range in size from below $1 million up to $200 million, with six companies receiving the $200 million maximum – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, Centerpoint Energy, Duke Energy Business Services, Florida Power and Light Company, PECO Energy Company and Progress Energy Service Company.
Of the allocations $1 billion is allocated to empowering consumers to save energy and cut utility bills through the installation of smart meters and customer systems. $400 million is allocated to making electricity distribution and transmission more efficient through grid modernization. $2 billion is allocated to integrating and crosscutting across different “smart” components of a smart grid, including smart meters, smart thermostats and appliances, syncrophasors, automated substations, plug in hybrid electric vehicles, renewable energy sources, etc. $25 million is allocated to building a smart grid manufacturing industry.
The funding, combined with private investment, should put the nation on pace to deploy more than 40 million smart meters over the next few years, including over 2.6 million by Florida Power and Light, 1.4 million by Duke Energy to customers in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, 1.1 million by Baltimore Gas and Electric, and utility-wide rollouts of 771,000 meters by Oklahoma Gas and Electric and 600,000 meters by PECO Energy.
In addition the funding will lead to the installation of more than 850 phasor measurement units covering 100 percent of the U.S. electric grid, more than 200,000 smart transformers, and almost 700 automated substations, representing about 5 percent of the nation’s total, and more than 1 million in-home displays, 170,000 smart thermostats, and 175,000 other load control devices to enable consumers to reduce their energy use. Funding will also help expand the market for smart washers, dryers, and dishwashers, so that American consumers can further control their energy use and lower their electricity bills.
According to a Department of Energy statement the funding will lead, when the projects are fully implemented, to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs across the country, including high paying career opportunities for smart meter manufacturing workers, engineering technicians, electricians and equipment installers, IT system designers and cyber security specialists, data entry clerks and database administrators, business and power system analysts, and others.
“We’re on the cusp of this new energy future,” said President Obama in announcing the awards. “The creation of a clean energy economy has to be made as swiftly and carefully as possible, to ensure that what it takes to grow this economy in the short, medium, and long term is no longer delayed. And I’m pleased to report that a consensus is growing to achieve exactly that – consensus between Democrats and Republicans, environmentalists and evangelicals, labor leaders and especially so many business leaders that are ready to jump on board because they understand that the growth of clean energy can lead to the growth of our economy.”