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State-funded smart grid work picks up

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If you missed out on the federal stimulus moolah being handed out to various smart grid projects, not to worry -- some states are starting funding pools of their own.

If you missed out on the federal stimulus moolah being handed out to various smart grid projects, not to worry -- some states are starting funding pools of their own.

California may be the most prominent and aggressive with California Senate Bill 17, which requires state utilities to submit smart grid development plans by the middle of 2011, but other states are also handing out some of their own smart grid grants. Granted, some of that money is also coming out of the federal stimulus money for energy projects, but just because a pool of federal money has been allocated means all bets are off.

One example of a state project is the $3.75 million that the state of Mississippi just handed out to SmartSynch, a smart grid meters, software and devices company based in the state. The money is designated to support projects that help manage energy consumption and expenditures at public facilities. SmartSynch will be working with state officials across Mississippi to install its smart meters. Incidentally, it won the grant through an open, competitive bid process.

Mississippi was actually awarded $16 million in federal stimulus funds for state energy efficiency projects and it could have up to $24 million more, once the results of early projects are demonstrated. Here's a Web site highlighting Mississippi's program.

OK, so you might not necessarily have a vested interest in Mississippi. Well, here's a list of the funding that's being allocated across all 50 states. I already mentioned California as a big spender. Well, Texas also has more than $218 million coming its way.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure