UPDATED As we wrote on Monday, Tuesday is the day of reckoning for the smart grid biz. The Department of Energy this morning has announced the recipients of the $3.4 billion in stimulus grants for 100 smart grid projects (25 large and 75 small) that are meant create “tens of thousands of jobs,” and lead to the rollout of 18 million smart meters, 1 million in-home energy management displays, and 170,000 smart thermostats, as well as advanced transformers and load management devices.
Update: The DOE has just released the full list of awards (PDF download), and here’s our take on the Winners and Losers of the smart grid stimulus funds.
The DOE says the total amount of private and public funds that will be invested in smart grid projects through this program will be $8.1 billion. That’s a massive amount of money and more proof that the smart grid has gone very mainstream. President Obama will be the one making the announcement at a solar facility in Arcadia, Fla., on Tuesday. The location was chosen because the DOE approved a $200 million grant for the Energy Smart Florida Project, which will help the FPL Group, Cisco, GE and Silver Spring Networks build out a smart grid in Florida (Arcadia is the home of the largest solar PV project courtesy of FPL).
Other grant recipients include San Diego Gas & Electric, which received $28.1 million for its GridComm wireless smart grid project, which we profiled here. GridComm will span the entire 4,100 square miles of the utility’s footprint and could use wireless technology from Arcadian Networks as well as the wireless standard WiMAX. SDG&E previously told us that Cisco and IBM were working on this application.
The DOE also said it would fund Baltimore Gas & Electric with $200 million to deploy 1.1 million smart meters and customer information systems. Baltimore Gas & Electric will match those funds with $250 million of its own funding for the smart grid project.
Beyond these few examples of utility awardees, which the DOE revealed in a press call on Monday night, the agency is holding off from providing details about the rest of them, which will come from 49 states, until Tuesday morning (see update). Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, said on the call that the smart grid stimulus grants would turn the antiquated power grid with new ways for consumers to access energy information, new infrastructure to connect with renewables and new technology to create an energy backbone for the country. In addition, the stimulus smart grid funds will create “tens of thousands of jobs” said Browner.
Only about a quarter of the 400 applicants under this program won funds, and the DOE said the process was very competitive.