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Recovery act helping to spread smart grid

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt funneled government funds into the massive hydroelectric plant later known as the Hoover Dam, the two presidents effectively helped the country climb out of depression and change the U.S. electric landscape.

Parallels can be drawn between this project and the current smart grid developments, which are not only creating jobs, but revolutionizing the way North American utilities operate. According to Energy Biz, the government included about $3.4 billion in its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to be used specifically for 99 smart grid projects.

The funds are going to utilities, smart grid technology suppliers, regional transmission organizations and research firms. One of the most ambitious projects is the $108 million plan to install a network of synchrophasor technologies throughout Western Interconnections. The project will give utilities access to real-time information about the network, allowing them to identify and solve problems the moment they arise.

"It's a significant step up," said Vickie VanZandt, program manager for the project. "It's like having an MRI instead of an X-ray."

As more utilities use these funds to install a wide range of intelligent electronic devices, SUBNET's products and solutions will help companies collect, manage and analyze data to maximize operating efficiency. 

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