Touted as “the largest single energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history”, President Barack Obama announced the on Tuesday, Oct 27. One-hundred private companies, utilities, manufacturers, cities and other partners received grants that totaled $ 3.4 billion.
The effects of these investments will include increase in grid reliability and reduction of power-outages via the installation of 850 sensors (Phasor Measurements Units) covering 100% of the U.S. electric grid, over 200,000 smart transformers and about 700 automated substations; massive job-creation; $4.7 billion in private investment to match the federal funding; and major energy conservation by allowing for 20% of our energy to come from renewable sources and by allowing customers to control their electricity demand.
A map outlining the distribution of the funds with projects.
The grants were distributed among 49 states and the District of Columbia, (with Alaska being the state not receiving any funds). Centerpoint Energy, Duke Energy, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., Progress Energy, PECO Energy Company and Florida Power and Light were each awarded $200 million in federal grant money, which is the highest amount that was given out per grant recipient.
Plans to hold multiple rounds of funding for the $3.4 billion program were canceled, after applications for the smart grid investment grant program came in at about five times the amount available. The New York Times reported that for every one winner, there were three losers. However, that does not seem to deter the pace of deployment as suggested by Oncor spokesperson Carol Peters said that there was a sense of disappointment in their not being selected for the DOE funds but “no matter what, Oncor isn't slowing down, because advanced meters and other smart grid technologies can save consumers money and energy."
The Department of Energy press release includes includes links to the full list of recipients sorted by both category and state.