DOE Announces $620 Million for Smart Grid Projects
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A string of Smart Grid demonstration projects are set to receive some major federal Recovery Act funding. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced last week that the awards, equaling $620 million in total funding, are to be spread out over 32 projects that will demonstrate advanced grid technologies and cutting-edge energy storage options. The DOE funds will be coupled with $1 billion in private sector funding support.
The projects will test and collect data on several Smart Grid technologies. Some efforts will focus on the cost-effectiveness of Smart Grid implementation. 16 projects, or about $435 million of the allocated funds, will demonstrate the feasibility of integrating advanced grid solutions and how these projects could be copied throughout the nation. The projects will cover 21 states and more than 50 utilities. Over 100 million customers will be affected by the demonstrations.
The other 16 projects, using the remaining $185 million, will help fund utility-scale energy storage projects in an effort to improve the reliability and efficiency of the national electric grid. A more efficient energy grid with more capable storage methods will not only reduce the need for more conventional power plants, but also streamline integration for renewable energy technologies, including solar power. The storage projects will include advanced battery systems, such as flow batteries, flywheels and compressed air systems.
Source: DOE Press Release
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