Over four hundred stimulus grant proposals have been received by the United States Department of Energy for the purpose of setting up the proposed smart grid system. The DoE is planning to choose which proposals to go with in November, but right now they are still in the process of adding up the total amount of money that has been requested.
According to Todd Arnold, Duke Energy’s senior vice president of smart grids, “What’s critical for industry is we get out of pilots, and start building smart grids.” Currently they are serving about four million Midwest customers.
The maximum amount of money that is allowed to be requested stands at $200 million for the proposals that were closed on August 6th. Duke Energy put in a request for the full $200 million, and their goal is to take their original plan of having smart meters and automation systems connected to over 1.5 million users in six years, and reduce the time frame to four years. The users in their target area are from Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. Duke Energy also has plans to send off another proposal for advanced pilot systems to the tune of $14 million by late August.
A few days ago, Echelon Corp. agreed to purchase just under $16 million Networked Energy Services systems from Duke, which are scheduled for delivery prior to October 2009. According to Echelon, this deal could be the start of what will be sales of its NES systems that push the $150 million mark. Representatives from Duke Energy say that they liked “how [the Echelon system] gets data out of the meter to where we have a collection point on the network. We like their design of their metering infrastructure and the NES system’s handling of data at head end, managing the network and handling updates and applications on the smart meter.”