U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says the Department of Energy is soliciting applications for $3.9 billion in grants to support efforts to modernize the electric grid. One goal is to allow greater integration of renewable energy sources while increasing the reliability, efficiency and security of the nation’s transmission and distribution system.
“These investments will be used to develop a smart, strong, and secure electrical grid that will help integrate renewable resources onto the grid, deliver power more reliably and effectively with less environmental impact, and create new jobs across the country,” says Chu. “By investing in updating the grid now, we will lower utility bills for American families and businesses, lessen our dependence on oil, and help advance a clean energy future for the nation.”
The Secretary announced the release of the final Funding Opportunity Announcements for $3.9 billion in Recovery Act funds. About $3.3 billion for the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program and $615 million for smart grid demonstration projects will help develop and implement smart grid technologies across the country.
As part of the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program, DOE will provide cost-shared grants to support manufacturing, purchasing and installation of existing smart grid technologies that can be deployed on a commercial scale. Funding under the Smart Grid Demonstration Program will be used to demonstrate how emerging technologies can be applied in innovative ways within the electric delivery system to provide integrated and economically-feasible solutions. The Investment Grant program is intended to bring smart grid functions to the electric system as soon as possible, while the Demonstration program is aimed at identifying and developing more cost-effective smart grid equipment, tools, techniques, and system configurations that can significantly improve upon today’s technologies.
The final Funding Opportunities reflect more than 600 comments DOE received on the draft solicitations. It previously announced that while the maximum award limits for both programs were being increased, the Department will support projects of all sizes. Under the final solicitations, the maximum award for the Smart Grid Investment Grants will be $200 million. Maximum award for the Smart Grid Demonstrations will be $100 million.
The final funding announcements are available at www.fedconnect.net. Search public opportunities for the following reference numbers: Smart Grid Investment Program (DE-FOA-0000058) and Smart Grid Demonstrations (DE-FOA-0000036).
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