US announces $57m to push smart grid development

US announces $57m to push smart grid development

Another US$10.5 million in Recovery Act funding will also be available for local governments to develop emergency preparedness plans for their electrical systems.

This funding will support existing projects aimed at accelerating the development and implementation of a modernised and secure electrical grid – a critical piece in delivering renewable energy to American consumers and ensuring an effective, reliable and efficient electricity system across the country.

This investment will add to the $17 million in funds that the Department awarded these projects in 2008.

The Department of Energy has also released the first Smart Grid System Report, which examines the status of smart grid deployments nationwide and any regulatory or government barriers to continued deployment.

The report finds that while many smart grid capabilities are just beginning to emerge, the adoption of various technologies – such as smart metering, automated substation controls and distributed generation – is growing significantly.

The report also notes that smart grid capabilities are socially transformational and, in order to achieve broader deployment and implementation, a greater cultural change is needed.

The Department has also begun the development of a Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse, with US$1.2 million awarded to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) to develop and maintain the Clearinghouse website, which will answer questions from the public and distribute information about smart grid initiatives.

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