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Environment | Business

Utilities Seek Stimulus Money For Energy Projects

13 utilities and government agencies from Washington to Wyoming are hoping to get federal funds to do nearly $180 million worth of experimental energy projects. Rob Manning reports.

There’s $4 billion in the federal stimulus package for new energy infrastructure, called “Smart Grid.”

Part of that fund will go to Smart Grid pilot projects meant to test things like interactive meters and programmable appliances.

They might also look into better ways to deliver variable energy sources, like wind power.

Carl Imhoff is with the Richland, Washington branch of Battelle.

Imhoff says the Northwest pilot would use 13 sites and enough power to serve 86,000 homes to test the limits of Smart Grid applications.

Carl Imhoff: “This offers the nation a real unique opportunity to look at a new generation of technology that can help enhance the performance, reliability and environmental signature of our overall electric system.”

The Bonneville Power Administration and seven utilities in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho are putting up much of the $89 million in local funds needed to qualify for the federal grant.