Progress Energy has 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.
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.
"Smart Grid will enable us to enhance and improve service to our customers," said Bill Johnson, chairman, president and CEO of Progress Energy. "It will allow our customers ultimately to have more direct control of their energy use and their bill through pricing signals and pre-pay options. Leveraging this technology, Progress Energy will partner with our customers to help them manage their usage based on personal preferences and household needs. The end result will be improved system efficiencies, energy conservation and a cleaner environment."
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.
"Smart Grid will enhance power quality and service reliability while helping us secure the energy future for our customers," Johnson said. "Our company is committed to a balanced solution strategy to meet the future energy needs of our customers at a time of rising energy costs and concerns about climate change. This balanced approach includes aggressive energy efficiency, investments in renewable and alternative energy, and state-of-the-art plants and facilities. The Smart Grid is a fundamental tool to help us meet these objectives."
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.
Progress Energy is investing in Smart Grid because the company recognizes that the electric grid of the future must engage broadly with customers, reacting to their energy consumption decisions and accommodating independent alternative supply and energy storage options.
"All of these new intelligent capabilities bring value, but also complexity," Johnson said. "The grid must be prepared for this evolving complexity and respond dynamically to these advanced, innovative capabilities."