$2.272 Million for Electrical Upgrades...
Two Nebraska Utilities Receive Recovery Act Funding
On October 27, 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy announced American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds would be made available to help spur modernization of the country’s electrical grid system. Stanton County Public Power District in Stanton, Nebraska
and Cuming County Public Power District based in West Point will receive a combined total of $2.272 million of the $3.4 billion available in Recovery Act funding.
Stanton’s Smart Meter Project
Stanton Public Power District will receive $397,000 to install 2,400 “smart meters” along with associated computer hardware and software in homes and businesses. This will help the utility extend its existing smart grid service thus saving customers money through grid system efficiency and reducing electrical outages. The utility will match the federal grant with $397,000 for a total project cost of $794,000.
Cuming's Communication Equipment
Cuming County Public Power District
will receive $1.87 million to install communications equipment and software in homes and businesses to help build a system of “smart” meters. The utility will provide $1,875,000 in matching grant funds for a total project cost of $3,750,000.
Smart Meters Do the Thinking
Smart meters help utilities isolate problems and control electric flow in their electric grid systems. Smart meters help customers save money by sending data to utility centers which then reroutes electricity to places where it is needed most thus avoiding the need to use “peak demand” electricity. Peak electricity is the most expensive power there is because stand-by power plants must be used to produce the additional electricity to meet the peak demand. Smart meters also tell utilities when there is a power outage. Typically utilities do not know there is a power outage until customers call to report it. With smart meters the utility knows immediately when there is an outage and will have the tools it needs to respond faster and more efficiently to the problem, thus saving customers money.
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