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$3.4 Billion Smart Grid Upgrade is the Biggest Clean-Energy Piece of Obama’s Stimulus

Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. was awarded $200 million.

Philladelphia-Road

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Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. was awarded $200 million.

Today President Obama will announce federal investments that will bring smart electric meters to one-quarter to one-third of U.S. homes. The money will be matched with state and utility funds for a total of $8 billion in new investment to modernize and upgrade equipment from substations, to transformers, to displays in your house that will allow you to optimize energy use, and to better integrate renewable energy into the grid. This is the biggest single part of the stimulus package going to green energy.

American homes account for 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Smart meters go right to the source to motivate individuals to better manage their energy use.It’s an investment in infrastructure and technology, exactly where federal funds are most needed–not picking winners on the green -energy technology side, but helping all energy generation and transmission work better.

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Obama’s photo op will occur at Florida Power & Light’s brand-new Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, FL, the largest PV installation in the nation, powering 3,000 homes.  Of course, Fast Company is especially interested in the power of smart meters and the smart grid to motivate and connect distributed, smaller-scale renewable energy.

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About the author

Anya Kamenetz is the author of Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006) and DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, (Chelsea Green, 2010). Her 2011 ebook The Edupunks’ Guide was funded by the Gates Foundation

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