Electric coops receive $215 million for smart grid investments

Arlington, Va., October 27, 2009 – President Obama today announced $3.4 billion in grant awards to utilities seeking to invest in the deployment of smart grid infrastructure.

Of this total, $215,558,896 will go to more than fifty electric cooperatives and public power districts in 14 states. The DOE awarded 100 grants in all.

“The impressive number of electric cooperatives and public power districts who applied for smart grid investment grants — almost 300 — indicates the tremendous momentum among cooperatives in the push to modernize the nation’s bulk power grid,” said Glenn English, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “We are extremely proud not only of the number of cooperatives who applied but also of the quality of those proposals,” English said.

Cooperatives lead the industry in the deployment of smart grid infrastructure. According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, cooperatives’ advanced metering penetration increased from 3.8 percent in 2006 to 16.4 percent in 2008 — well above the industry as a whole.

According to research conducted by NRECA, approximately half of cooperatives have installed at least some advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) on their systems, and some 30 percent of cooperatives have begun to integrate their AMI with other systems on their grid.

The DOE awarded grants to a range of cooperative entities, including distribution cooperatives, co-op subsidiaries, generation and transmission cooperatives (who applied jointly with their members), and public power districts.

English congratulated those cooperatives who received funds, commenting: “Cooperatives welcome the challenge of modernizing the nation’s grid.”

The Department of Energy grants are authorized by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The $3.4 billion will be matched by utility sector funding for a total public-private investment worth over $8 billion. The DOE had originally planned for three rounds of grants; however, the overwhelming response to the first round made two more rounds unnecessary.

Federal funds for cooperative projects:

Woodruff Electric
$2,357,520

Southwest Transmission Cooperative, Inc (joint project)
$32,244,485

Navajo Tribal Utility Association
$4,991,750

Talquin Electric Cooperative Inc.
$8,100,000

Cobb Electric Membership Corp.
$16,893,836

Tri-State Electric Membership Corp.
$1,138,060

Georgia System Operations Corporation, Inc.
$6,456,501

Midwest Energy Inc
$712,257

South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.
$9,538,234

South Mississippi Electric Power Association (joint project)
$30,563,967

Cuming County Public Power District
$1,874,994

Stanton County Public Power District
$397,000

New Hampshire Electric Cooperative
$15,815,225

Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative (joint project)
$19,577,326

Wellsboro (owned by Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.)
$431,625

Sioux Valley Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc.
$4,016,368

Golden Spread Electric Cooperative (joint project)
$19,995,000

CoServ Electric
$17,205,844

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative
$15,694,097

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative
$5,000,000

Powder River Energy Corporation
$2,554,807

Total
$215,558,896

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.

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