The Department of Energy has developed criteria for utilities and companies that want to apply for a part of the money set aside for smart grid grants.
To get funding from the $3.8 billion the DOE set aside in 2009, applicants had to show their proposed projects followed certain guidelines. The programs had to enable two-way communication and controls to make the grid more efficient and reliable, integrate renewable energy and low carbon generation, and, of course, create jobs. Security was also a requirement, since some expects say smart grids are easy to hack.
Of the $3.8 billion, $3.4 billion went to funding projects that could be implemented on a commercial scale. The rest went to so-called smart grid demonstration projects: new tools, equipment and techniques that could improve existing technologies.
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