November 25, 2009 By News Report
Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced yesterday that the Department of Energy (DOE) will award $620 million for smart grid demonstrastion projects. These 32 projects include large-scale energy storage, smart meters, distribution and transmission system monitoring devices, and a range of other smart technologies. This funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be leveraged with $1 billion in funds from the private sector to support more than $1.6 billion in total Smart Grid projects nationally, according to a DOE release. Chu also released a video on YouTube, which explains investments in the smart grid.
In a related announcement, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Ohio Public Utilities Commission Chairman Alan Schriber published a release on two Ohio projects that were included in the funding. AEP-Ohio will utilize more than $75 million in ARRA funds to demonstrate a secure, interoperable and integrated smart grid regional program. The three-and-a-half-year project will incorporate a suite of 13 technologies in different distribution combinations for more than 100,000 customers and create approximately 500 jobs according to the release. The city of Painesville will use $3.74 million in ARRA funds to manage peak power supply and demand. The city's utility, Painesville Municipal Power, will work in partnership with the Ohio Municipal Power Plant Authority and Ashlawn Energy to demonstrate vanadium redox battery storage at its 32 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Painesville. The 1 megawatt battery will have eight hours of storage capability.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.