Solar energy is being shouted from American rooftops—literally. United States Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the government is offering a conditional commitment to partially guarantee a $1.4 billion loan to support Project Amp which will install solar panels on the roofs of industrial buildings across the country. The electricity generated from those panels will contribute directly to the electrical grid and won’t be used to power the buildings where they are installed.
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.
During a White House Grid Modernization event, United States Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that more than five million smart meters have been installed nationwide as part of Recovery Act-funded efforts to accelerate modernization of the nation’s electric grid. Nearly 90 percent of the meters installed to date are in Florida, Texas, California, Idaho, Arizona, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Nevada.
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has signed a partnership deal with Duke Energy, and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a non-profit research organization that focuses on the electric power utility industry both in the United States and internationally to identify opportunities for testing and deploying ARPA-E funded projects that enhance the electric grid.