Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Last updated 2 hours ago
Nov 4 2009 | 6:16pm ET
U.S. President Barack Obama used a recent visit to Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center to announce the largest single energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history – $3.4 billion in grants to foster the transition to a smart energy grid.
The funding will go to a broad range of technologies promoting energy-saving choices for consumers, increasing efficiency, and encouraging the growth of renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
The grants are part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and will be matched by industry funding for a total public-private investment worth over $8 billion. Applicants state that the projects will create tens of thousands of jobs, and consumers in 49 states will benefit from these investments in a stronger, more reliable grid.
In all, over 100 energy providers, equipment manufacturers and smart grid-related companies will receive funding, with the bulk going to utilities. Grants are awarded in four categories:
FPL itself received $200 million in funding with which it will install over 2.5 million smart meters and other technologies.
“Not only do we need to make the current system bigger and add more watts, but we need to make it function better,” said Carol Browner, Obama’s chief adviser on climate change, at the event. “I would say it’s more than a facelift.”