GridWise Alliance Praises House Leadership On Smart Grid: Billions For Smart Grid Investment Program

January 19, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

The GridWise Alliance commended the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives for its leadership with the release of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Alliance members view the provisions contained in the Act as positive movement toward the deployment of a smart grid.

"This anticipated stimulus funding will help pay down the cost of investment for smart grid technologies," said Katherine Hamilton, President of the GridWise Alliance. "Developers of these technologies will be motivated with a matching grant fund as well as a pool of funding for pilot projects. We will be able to quantify actual benefits of a smart grid as these projects are demonstrated regionally."

GridWise also asserts that jobs will be created very quickly once the funding is released. A recent report by GridWise member company, KEMA, Inc., estimates that with a Federal investment of $16 billion up to 280,000 new jobs can be created directly from the deployment of smart grid technologies 150,000 in the first year alone.

"The House has recommended $4.5 billion for the Smart Grid Investment Program, which is a tremendous start," said Hamilton. "House Leaders recognize the need to update our electricity infrastructure and the many benefits of having a smart grid. Their commitment shows in the visibility they have given smart grid in their package."

"A smart grid will enable the integration of a host of other technology developments such as renewable energy, energy storage, dynamic forecasting, distributed generation, energy efficiency, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles" Hamilton went on to say. "Without a smart grid we will never fully reap the benefits of these innovative technologies, including the intrinsic societal benefits like reduced emissions, better reliability, increased security, and economic growth. We applaud the members of the House of Representatives and President-Elect Obama for their vision and leadership. Now we will have to see what the Senate offers."