American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Obama Administration Utilities Offer Plan to Accelerate U.S. Smart Grid

In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funded $4.5 billion to promote smart grid and clean energy projects, which was matched by $5.5 billion in private funding. The new push to promote the smart grid will be much less expensive for the federal government but the Administration hopes it will be even more effective.

Smart Grid to be $9.6 Billion Business by 2015

According to a new report from GTM Research, the United States smart grid market will grow more than 70 percent over the next five years, reaching $9.6 billion by 2015.  The U.S. Smart Grid Market Forecast: 2010–2015 analyzes key trends in four technology sectors – Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Distribution Automation (DA), Home Area Networks (HAN) and Smart Utility Enterprise. The study concludes that the factors driving the market expansion include federal ARRA grants for utility modernization, increased market competition and consolidation, and enhanced technology synergies.

New York to Study Smart Grid Regulatory Policies

The New York State Public Service Commission has initiated a proceeding to determine what regulatory policies will best promote development of the smart grid. Commission Chairman Garry Brown says, “The smart grid and the modernization of the electric grid hold great potential for the state’s ratepayers. However, the Commission must be very thoughtful and deliberate before it decides whether to invest ratepayer money in the smart grid over the next decade. This proceeding will help us discover the opportunities and pitfalls that might exist.”

Rappahannock Electric Selects SMART

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative has selected West Monroe Partners’ SMART reporting tool to enable mandatory Department of Energy (DOE) reporting as part of the cooperative’s $16 million Smart Grid Investment Grant. West Monroe Partners, a management consulting firm, will also help Rappahannock establish a project management office to supervise implementation of their smart grid initiative, which is funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

ITU Charged with Identifying Needed Standards

Information and communication technology (ICT) companies from around the globe have assigned a new International Telecommunications Union (ITU) group the task of identifying standards needs for the world’s new Smart Grid deployments. Such standards will bring the benefits of digital technology to the existing electricity network as well as much-needed efficiency and flexibility to power distribution.

DOE Invests in Smart Grid Employment

United States Energy Secretary Steve Chu announced that the Obama administration has earmarked $100 million in Recovery Act funding to train an estimated 30,000 workers for smart grid employment.