Utilities Receive Smart Grid Investment Grants
October 28, 2009
Two utilities serving South Carolina have received Smart Grid Investment Grant awards which are part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, to make improvements in South Carolina.
Progress Energy received $200 million to build a green Smart Grid virtual power plant through conservation, efficiency and advance load shaping technologies. Progress Energy will also use this award to install more than 160,000 meters across its multi-state service area.
Duke Energy Carolinas received $3.9 million that it plans to use to install 45 phasor measurement units in substations across the Carolinas. The utility will also upgrade communications infrastructure and technology at the corporate control center.
Smart Grid modernization gives customers and utilities more information to make saving energy easier. A total of $3.4 billion in awards were given to a hundred utilities headquartered in 45 states and territories. Utilities must mach the cost of funds they receive, which will bring the total investment towards grid-modernization to $8 billion nationally.
An analysis by the Electric Power Research Institute estimates that the implementation of smart grid technologies could reduce electricity use by more than four percent by 2030. That would mean a savings of $20.4 billion for businesses and consumers around the country, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.