The Department of Energy quietly handed out about $19 million in grants for some interesting smart grid projects earlier this week, three of them led by smart grid giants and two by startups. On the giant side, France’s Areva T&D (now being acquired by Schneider Electric) will work with Duke Energy and PNNL to integrate renewable power into the grid, Swiss grid giant ABB will build a more reliable grid with Xcel Energy and Texas A&M, and aerospace giant Boeing will build a secure distribution grid control network with Chicago utility ComEd and startups including Viridity Energy and EDSA. The remaining two grants go to On-Ramp Wireless, which will work with San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison on wireless communications for hard-to-reach grid assets like underground sensors, and Varentec, which has power electronics with batteries included to manage distributed power it will test in a project that includes New York’s ConEd, LED giant Cree and grid controls giant S&C Electric.
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