Nearly $3.3 billion has been set aside for the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program through the Recovery Act. The deadline for energy companies to apply for funding was Aug. 6 and now the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is combing over the many applications it received in order to determine which projects would receive the grant monies. The grant awards will be announced sometime in October.

“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.” Source: DOE

Companies will be eligible to receive up to $200 million as part of the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program. The DOE is also preparing for award announcements for the Smart Grid Demonstration Program. This program has $615 million available for companies to demonstrate new smart grid technologies. Grants under the Smart Grid Demonstration Program are capped at $100 million.

Energy companies from across the nation are waiting to hear if the DOE will fund their proposals. Atlanta-based Southern Company applied for a total of $362 million in stimulus funding; $197 million is earmarked for the company’s “Smart Meter” program.

“Southern Company began deploying smart meters in its Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi operating subsidiaries in 2008 and have installed more than one million to date. Over the next three years, the company will install more than 4,000 meters per day and will have more than four million in place by 2012.” Source: Southern Company

Greentech Media has reported extensively on this program over the past few weeks. According to the site, Duke Energy has applied for $200 million in funding, Northeast Utilities has applied for more than $126 million in grant money, and Nstar Electric & Gas is seeking $28 million in grant funds.

To learn more about what a smart grid is, read MNN Student Correspondent Ashley Jackson’s post Moving toward a SmartGrid.

Photo: cote

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