US smart grid stimulus funding awarded


United States President Barack Obama has 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.

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 modernisation. $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. In addition the funding will lead to the installation of more than 850 phasor measurement units covering 100% of the US electric grid, more than 200,000 smart transformers, and almost 700 automated substations, representing about 5% 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.