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Here's Where That Smart Grid Money Is Going

Yesterday, Obama announced he'd be giving $3.4 billion in stimulus funds to projects aimed at modernizing our outdated energy grid. The goal...


Yesterday, Obama announced he'd be giving $3.4 billion in stimulus funds to projects aimed at modernizing our outdated energy grid. The goal is to build a "smart grid" that moves energy more efficiently, has real-time monitoring, can coordinate with energy-efficient appliances, and can link up our cities with sources of renewable energy like wind or solar power.If we build it right we'll get lower electricity bills for everyone and lower carbon emissions. (You can see what our current energy grid looks like here and here.)The grants are going to 100 companies, cities, and utilities. The money will pay for new power lines, smart meters, and lots of equipment ("substations" and "smart transformers") that will help reduce power outages.The map above shows which kinds of projects are happening where. Despite the rigid, color-coded categorization, there's a lot of overlap in what these different types of projects do (get into the details with this .pdf of all the projects by category if you like). The most exciting projects involve getting functioning smart meters into homes and businesses and those generally fall under "Advanced Metering Infrastructure." So congratulations to Maine, the Mississippi area, Oregon, the four corners, and San Diego. Only Alaska got totally neglected. There are more details over at the White House blog.