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Obama Announces $3.4 Billion for Smart-Grid Electric Power Modernization Projects

President Barack Obama has announced the single largest energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history, with $3.4 billion in government support for 100 projects that are intended to make the nation's power transmission system more efficient and better suited to the digital age. A White House statement says that the federal funding, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be matched by industry funding for a total public-private investment of more than $8 billion. Applicants state that the projects will create thousands of jobs and that consumers in 49 states will benefit from the investments. The projects are divided into four basic categories: Empowering Consumers to Save Energy and Cut Utility Bills: $1 billion to create infrastructure and expand access to smart meters and customer systems; Making Electricity Distribution and Transmission More Efficient: $400 million for grid modernization; Integrating and Crosscutting Across Different "Smart" Components of a Smart Grid: $2 billion for projects that incorporate different components into one system or cut across various project areas; and Building a Smart Grid Manufacturing Industry: $25 million for investments that expand the manufacturing base for production of smart meters, smart appliances, and other system components. A list of the projects that received funding is available here.

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