November 24, 2009

(Washington, DC)- U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced that the Department of Energy has awarded the National Rural Electric Cooperative a $33,932,146 grant to install and operate smart grid technologies in 17 rural electric cooperatives across 10 states. The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative in Plymouth has been selected as one of the utilities to participate in the project. This funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will be combined with $1 billion in funds from the private sector to support more than $1.6 billion in total smart grid projects nationally.

"Smart grid technology has been proven to reduce costs for consumers and increase energy efficiency, and this is the type of investment that consumers need to help them make their home energy needs more affordable," said Shaheen. "This funding will help more New Hampshire residents reap the benefits of this technology, and will help us get closer to taking control of our energy future."

In partnership with the National Rural Electric Cooperative, the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative will install and operate of a suite of diverse smart grid technologies and aggregate the data from homes in their service area. Technologies will include meters, demand response switches, in-home displays or smart thermostats, and others. In addition to customer-focused technologies, the project will include voltage sensors and fault detectors. Data will be tracked by the National Rural Electric Cooperative and include studies on total demand, distributed energy resources, peak pricing, customer appliance control, and self-healing technologies for improved reliability.

Today's funding for smart grid demonstration projects is in addition to the $15.8 million for the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative through the smart grid investment grants program Shaheen announced last month.

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