The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been doing a fair amount of stimulating this month. A few weeks ago, DTE Energy was given an $84 million jolt toward smart grid adoption; more recently, the DOE helped Wayne State University establish several electric vehicle degrees.
The latest to be stimulated: Duke Energy received a $204 million boost. Intended to support smart grid projects throughout Duke Energy’s five-state turf, the Energy Department’s stimulus funding will be put toward two particular projects: “$200 million will assist in modernizing Duke Energy’s power distribution system; $4 million will support the installation of digital equipment on the transmission system in the Carolinas,” according to Duke. As an added benefit, both projects will create approximately 1,000 new jobs as Duke works to modernize its grid systems in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and North and South Carolina.
For Duke, the $204 million stimulus is but a slice of a much larger pie. The energy company plans to spend more than $1 billion over the next five years to roll out smart grid technology such as smart meters, a communication infrastructure, and distribution automation equipment throughout its five-state domain.