Environmental Protection

NEMA Says Smart Grid Grants Reflect Its Initiatives

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has finalized rules for its Smart Grid Investment Grant program, providing a total of $3.3 billion in grants of $500,000 to $200 million, which is significant higher than the $20 million cap originally proposed, according to a June 29 press release from NEMA.

The grants will come in the form of a 50 percent match from end users, utilities, or other non-government sources.

NEMA staff had previously compiled recommendations from the Smart Grid Advisory Panel and delivered them to Secretary Steven Chu in March. The announcement reflects deployment and demonstration recommendations from the NEMA Smart Grid Advisory Panel, including community energy storage, storage management systems, and transmission ratings.

Many projects will be utility-scale, and NEMA companies may partner with or supply the utilities that will act as a project "host." In some instances, such as in California and Colorado, the state utility commissions plan to hold expedited hearings, which will demonstrate official support for utilities seeking DOE funds. NEMA has compiled a list of state Smart Grid dockets or stimulus efforts, which is available to its members at http://workspaces.nema.org/NEMA/Members%20Only%20Links/Stimulus_Contacts.pdf

The first round of applications will close July 29. Subsequent application due dates are anticipated in December 2009 and March 2010. Applicants are encouraged to apply quickly as funds may not be reserved for future rounds.

The Smart Grid Investment Grant Program was authorized by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications.

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