Jackson Announces Smart Grid Grant to Progress Energy

U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson visited Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday to announce a $200 million grant to Progress Energy for a smarter, stronger and more efficient electric system in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.

The funding, announced at a press conference with Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton and Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, is part of President Barack Obama’s announcement of $3.4 billion in Smart Grid Investment Grant Awards under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“A cornerstone of our new foundation for prosperity is the growth of the American clean energy economy,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Investments in innovative Smart Grid technology will create new jobs, lower energy bills for consumers and businesses, promote more efficient and reliable energy delivery, and set the stage for affordable clean energy across the country.”

The $200 million grant, which Progress Energy will match with $300 million of its own funding, will fund system and equipment upgrades that will make their grid more efficient, saving consumers money in the Carolinas and in Florida. Progress Energy will also use its funding to install 160,000 smart meters and other technology that will cut energy costs for its customers.

“Progress Energy is currently investing in several Smart Grid initiatives to meet our customer’s changing electricity needs throughout the communities that rely on us for reliable power,” said Bill Johnson, Progress Energy chair, president and chief executive officer. “This grant program has the potential to expand investments necessary to transform the electric grid to give customers greater control of their energy use, enable utilities to harness the potential of renewable energy and electric vehicles and improve power quality and service reliability.”

North Carolina companies, serving five states, will receive $403 million total in recovery act funding for smart grid development, which will be matched by nearly $975 million in private funds for a total investment of $1.3 billion. Duke Energy will receive a similar $200 million grant.

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