Wednesday, 17 June 2009

$4 billion marked for smart power grid

The Obama Administration has recently announced a new solicitation for around $4 billion in stimulus, funding for new power- transmission technology.

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, there are plans to distribute more than $3.3 billion in smart grid technology development grants and an additional $615 million for smart grid storage, monitoring and technology viability.

“A smart electricity grid will revolutionise the way we use energy, but we need standards in place to ensure that all this new technology is compatible and operating at the highest cyber security standards to protect the smart grid from hackers and natural disasters,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said.

The Recovery Act will fund the development of those standards, added Locke.

DOE’s Smart Grid Investment Grant Programme will provide grants ranging from $500,000 to $20 million for smart grid technology deployments. It will also provide grants of $100,000 to $5 million for the deployment of grid monitoring devices.

The draft Funding Opportunity Announcement is for smart grid demonstrations in three areas:

· Smart grid regional demonstrations will quantify smart grid costs and benefits, verify technology viability, and examine new business models.

· Utility-scale energy storage demonstrations can include technologies such as advanced battery systems, ultra-capacitors, flywheels, and compressed air energy systems, and applications such as wind and photovoltaic integration and grid congestion relief.

· Grid monitoring demonstrations will support the installation and networking of multiple high-resolution, time-synchronised grid monitoring devices, called phasor measurement units, that allow transmission system operators to see, and therefore influence, electric flows in real-time.

Each demonstration project must be carried out in collaboration with the electric utility that owns the grid facilities.

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