TVPPA and TVA to Apply for Smart Grid Stimulus Funds
August 6, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Public Power Association, the Tennessee Valley Authority and participating local electric utilities are applying for up to $200 million in stimulus funds from the U.S. Department of Energy for smart grid initiatives.
A letter of intent was filed with DOE in July. The target for awarding funds is in October.
The development of a Smart Electrical Grid will provide consumers and their electric utilities with technology that will help them lower energy use and costs, reduce power plant emissions and increase the security of grid operations. The grid is the electrical network that moves power from generating plants to homes and businesses.
The initial steps in developing a smart grid are installing communicating electric meters and establishing a communications network connecting the meters with the local utility.
“The DOE stimulus funds would allow us to take these first steps and conduct a pilot program in some areas of the TVA region,” said Doug Peters, TVPPA director of education and training.
“Consumers and small businesses will have smart meters that will display minute-by-minute how much power is being used and what it costs,” Peters said. “They can lower their power use and immediately see the cost difference. Smart meters also will allow the utility to save power by turning off water heaters and other appliances for short periods when people are away from their homes or businesses.”
Mike Ingram, demand response senior manager for TVA, said the DOE funding would accelerate the smart grid pilot program and help TVA reduce peak demand.
“If we are awarded the funds, this project would be the largest investment TVA has made in smart grid technology.” Ingram said. “The smart grid would improve our reliability, energy efficiency, cybersecurity and interactions with connecting transmission systems.”
TVPPA is the non-profit, regional service organization representing the interests of the 158 consumer-owned electric utilities that purchase wholesale electric power from TVA.
TVA is the nation’s largest public power provider and is completely self-financing. TVA provides power to large industries and 158 power distributors that serve approximately 9 million people in seven southeastern states. TVA also manages the Tennessee River and its tributaries to provide multiple benefits, including flood damage reduction, navigation, water quality and recreation.
TVA News Bureau, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000