President Obama this morning announced $3.4 billion in stimulus funds to accelerate the U.S. transition to the smart grid.
The Dept of Energy (DOE) administered programs break down as follows: $1 billion for energy and consumer savings programs; $2 billion for integrating smart grid components so they work together; $400 million for more efficient distribution and transmission; and $25 million to build up a smart grid manufacturing industry.
“One-hundred private companies, utilities, manufacturers, cities and other partners” will receive the grants, according to the press release. A quick scan of the awards indicates that most U.S. utilities got money ranging as high at $200 million with installation of smart meters the most common activity.
Typically, the matching grants cover a third to half of the smart grid project cost. The DOE press releases said the investments will create “tens of thousands” of jobs, modernize the grid and make it more efficient and reliable and reduce peak demand by 1,400 megawatts.
Indeed, companies that benefit jumped on the announcement.
“The holistic smart grid solution receiving funding deliver synergistic reliability, efficiency and clean-energy technologies across the electrical network. Consumers will have the power to manage and control their energy use and we can add more clean energy sources to the generation mix - all while creating thousands of high value, green-collar jobs,” said GE Energy Service’ general manager of smart grid business Luke Clemente said in a press release.
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