Progress Energy seeks $200 million grant for smart grid in Carolinas, Florida

Raleigh, N.C., Aug. 13 – Progress Energy applied for $200 million in federal infrastructure funds in support of the company’s investment in an electric smart grid in the Carolinas and Florida.

The company submitted its application to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which will award $4.5 billion in smart grid grants nationwide as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Smart grid is a term used to describe a modernized electric transmission and distribution system — enabled by digital technology — that delivers detailed, real-time information about energy use to customers.

This advanced grid will allow utility companies and consumers to continuously monitor and adjust their electricity use, while providing a pricing and control system to flexibly integrate new renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power, energy storage devices and electric vehicles. A smarter grid also will help minimize interruptions in electrical service during storms and other routine power outages.

Progress Energy is already investing a planned $320 million in smart grid to enhance the electricity delivery system at the company’s two electric utilities: Progress Energy Carolinas and Progress Energy Florida. If approved, the $200 million DOE grant would be shared equally on smart grid projects in the Carolinas and Florida and would advance additional smart grid investments.

Progress Energy is a fully integrated utility, so it can leverage the value smart grid offers all the way from its generating plants, across its transmission and distribution systems to its customers’ homes and businesses. The company maintains a network of about 11,000 miles of electric transmission lines and 100,000 miles of distribution lines across 54,000 square miles in the Carolinas and Florida.

IBM and Telvent are strategic partners with Progress Energy in pursuit of the DOE grant. IBM is supplying consulting, as well as optimization software and services for coordination and prioritization of advanced load shaping and efficiency. Telvent is providing the Smart Grid’s distribution supervisory control and data-acquisition system (SCADA), which is capable of gathering real-time data, controlling devices interactively, and producing reports on equipment in distribution substations and on the grid. Telvent is also supplying the new distribution management system that will provide real-time energy information and lays the foundation for reliable integration for customer-owned distributed energy resources.

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