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As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Vice President Joseph Biden has outlined 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.

"We need an upgraded electrical grid to take full advantage of the vast renewable resources in this country - to take the wind from the Midwest and the sun from the Southwest and power areas across the country," says Biden. "By investing in updating the grid now, we will lower utility bills for American families and businesses, lessen our dependence on foreign oil and create good jobs that will drive our economic recovery - a strong return on our investment."

Locke announced plans for a smart-grid meeting in Washington, D.C., that he will chair with Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The event, which will take place in early May, will bring together leaders from key stakeholders' organizations, largely from the private sector, to begin a critical discussion about developing industry-wide standards that will enable the smart grid to become a reality. Additional meetings of industry staff are planned for May 19-20 to make further progress on a standards agreement.

As part of Biden's announcement, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a notice of intent (NOI) for the DOE Smart Grid Investment Grant Program, as well as a draft funding opportunity announcement from for a smart-grid regional demonstration initiative.

The Smart Grid Investment Grant Program 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.

This program provides matching grants of up to 50% for investments planned by electric utilities and other entities to deploy smart-grid technologies. The program will use a competitive, merit-based process to select qualified projects to receive funding.

For more information, visit energy.gov.

SOURCE: Department of Energy



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