Obama Announces $3.4 Billion Investment in Smart Grid

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:

  • Companies developing technologies to save energy and cut utility bills will receive a total of $1 billion. These investments will create the infrastructure and expand access to smart meters and customer systems, allowing customers to program appliances and equipment to run when power rates are lowest.
  • Companies improving the efficiency of electricity distribution and transmission will receive a total of $400 million. Funding will go to grid modernization projects dedicated to reducing the amount of power lost in transmission.
  • Companies integrating smart grid components will receive $2 billion in grants, funding a range of projects that will incorporate the various components into one system or cut across various project areas – including smart meters, smart thermostats and appliances, syncrophasors, automated substations, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, renewable energy sources, etc.
  • Companies building the smart grid manufacturing industry will receive $25 million to expand the country’s manufacturing base for all the smart grid components listed above.

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.”


In Depth

Kettera Q&A: The Advantages of Alternative Investment Platforms

Oct 28 2016 | 5:52pm ET

The past several years have seen a distinct push towards easier and cheaper access...

Lifestyle

Midtown's Plaza District Fades As Manhattan Office Landscape Shifts

Nov 22 2016 | 6:32pm ET

Lower leasing costs, more efficient office space and the hope of projecting an image...

Guest Contributor

Nowhere to Hide: Why the Future of Asset Management Depends on Innovation

Nov 15 2016 | 6:55pm ET

Information technology has reshaped the asset management industry’s periphery,...

 

From the current issue of

Chicago-based independent futures brokerage and clearing firm R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO) has hired industry veteran Daniel Staniford as Executive Director, responsible for the firm’s institutional business development in New York and London.

AVAILABLE NOW at BARNES & NOBLE

NEWSTAND LOCATOR