This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 24, 2010

DOE Awards $19 Million to Modernize Nation's Electric Grid

DOE is investing more than $19 million for five projects aimed at optimizing the nation's electric grid, the agency announced November 17. Collectively, these smart grid projects will apply technologies, tools, and techniques that are capable of making the grid cleaner and more efficient. Private investment will be about $11 million, bringing the overall total to more than $30 million.

Smart grid technologies can help modernize the nation's electric grid by employing remote control and automation, two-way communications, and information technology to better inform consumers and utilities. DOE is working with industry, universities, national laboratories, and other groups to conduct research, development, and demonstration projects that lead to commercially available smart grid technologies. The projects and companies selected include: Areva T&D, Inc. which is designing and testing an innovative platform for integrating distributed energy resources with into the grid; Boeing Company which will demonstrate a smart highly-automated electric distribution management system that will allow more customer-owned energy resources and automation into the distribution system; ABB Inc. which will develop and demonstrate a real-time monitoring, control, and health management system to improve grid reliability and efficiency; Varentec, Inc. which will research and develop a wide range of next-generation power electronics devices to better integrate renewable resources; and On-Ramp Wireless, Inc. which will develop and demonstrate a wireless grid sensor and a faulted circuit indicator capable of monitoring underground and other hard-to-reach distribution circuit locations. See the DOE press release and DOE's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Web site.