DOE Opens Spigot On Smart Grid Projects
The Department of Energy announced June 25 the agency is ready to solicit applications for $3.9 billion in grants to support efforts to modernize the electric grid. The money is part of the Recovery Act funds approved by Congress earlier this year.
Approximately $3.3 billion is earmarked for the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program and $615 million for smart grid demonstration projects to help develop and implement smart grid technologies across the country.
"These investments will be used to develop a smart, strong and secure electrical grid that will help integrate renewable resources onto the grid, deliver power more reliably and effectively with less environmental impact, and create new jobs across the country," U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement. "By investing in updating the grid now, we will lower utility bills for American families and businesses, lessen our dependence on oil and help advance a clean energy future for the nation."
As part of the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program, the DOE said it will provide cost-shared grants to support manufacturing, purchasing and installation of existing smart grid technologies that can be deployed on a commercial scale. Funding under the Smart Grid Demonstration Program will be used to demonstrate how emerging technologies can be applied in innovative ways within the electric delivery system to provide integrated and economically feasible solutions.
The Investment Grant program is intended to enable smart grid functions on the electric system as soon as possible, while the Demonstration program is aimed at identifying and developing new and more cost-effective smart grid equipment, tools, techniques, and system configurations that can significantly improve upon today's technologies.
The maximum award for the Smart Grid Investment Grants will be $200 million; the maximum award for the Smart Grid Demonstrations will be $100 million.