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California awards $2.9 million to fund smart grid research and development

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Thursday, May 19, 2011

California leads the nation in its adoption of renewable energy sources and this week, the state's Energy Commission awarded nearly $3 million to fund research projects aimed at improving the efficacy of the smart grid.

With the funding, the Golden State hopes to maintain its lead in the investment and development of the smart grid, according to a press release. Further, the research projects will be conducted at universities in the state like the University of California at San Diego, allowing for increased visibility into the smart grid's effectiveness.

"Our investment in research on renewable energy projects will help accelerate its development and application in California," Energy Commissioner Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller said in a statement.

UC San Diego was awarded nearly $1.4 million from the Commission, and according to the school's administration, the school's 42-megawatt microgrid enables it to understand how electricity systems can flow at optimal efficiency.

Among the projects that grant recipients will work on include the benefits of investment and development of transmission lines and the effects of climate change on fire frequency and vegetation on California watersheds. 

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