Issue Date: November 2, 2009
Smart Grid Grants Total $3.4 Billion
The Obama Administration has awarded $3.4 billion in stimulus package funds as grants for modernizing the nation's electricity grid. Last week, President Barack Obama announced 100 grants for projects that will contribute to a smart grid, a planned nationwide network that relies on information technology to deliver electricity efficiently and reliably (C&EN, April 13, page 33). The largest chunk of this money, $2 billion, will go to efforts that combine a number of components, such as automated substations and renewable energy development. Another $1 billion will go toward "smart meters" that allow utilities to charge less for electricity when demand is lower. The White House says smart meters will allow consumers to save money by programming appliances and equipment to run when power is cheaper. Meanwhile, several grid modernization projects together will receive $400 million. These include installation of devices to cut the loss of energy during transmission between generating stations and consumers. Another $25 million will go to companies that manufacture equipment for the smart grid.
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