DOE Announces Availability Of $3.9 Billion To Invest In Smart Grid Technologies

June 28, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

The <U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it is soliciting applications for $3.9 billion in grants to support efforts to modernize the electric grid, allowing for greater integration of renewable energy sources while increasing the reliability, efficiency and security of the nation’s transmission and distribution system, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Approximately $3.3 billion for the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program and $615 million for smart grid demonstration projects will help develop and implement smart grid technologies across the country.

As part of the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program, DOE will provide cost-shared grants to support manufacturing, purchasing and installation of existing smart grid technologies that can be deployed on a commercial scale. Funding under the Smart Grid Demonstration Program will be used to demonstrate how emerging technologies can be applied in innovative ways within the electric delivery system to provide integrated and economically-feasible solutions. The Investment Grant program is intended to enable smart grid functions on the electric system as soon as possible, while the Demonstration program is aimed at identifying and developing new and more cost-effective smart grid equipment, tools, techniques, and system configurations that can significantly improve upon today’s technologies.

The final FOAs reflect the more than 600 comments DOE received on the draft solicitations. The Department previously announced that while the maximum award limits for both programs were being increased, the Department will support projects of all sizes. Under the final solicitations, the maximum award for the Smart Grid Investment Grants will be $200 million; the maximum award for the Smart Grid Demonstrations will be $100 million.