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Indiana lands $39.4M in power-grid stimulus grants

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President Barack Obama made a pitch for renewable energy Tuesday, announcing $3.4 billion in government support for 100 projects aimed at modernizing the nation's power grid.

Indiana will receive $39.4 million worth of those power-grid grants, with Indianapolis Power & Light and the Carmel-based Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator getting most of the funding.

IPL will receive $20 million to help pay for a $48.8 million project to install more than 28,000 smart meters for commercial, industrial and residential customers. The meters are expected to provide energy-use information to customers, improve service restoration and enable two-way communications and control capabilities for the grid.

Midwest ISO, which oversees the operation of the power grid in 15 states, will get $17.3 million toward a $34.5 million project to install 150 phasor measurement units that will improve energy dispatching, system reliability and planning capabilities.

The city of Auburn in northeast Indiana will receive $2.1 million toward a $4.2 million smart-meter project.

Touring a field of solar energy panels in west-central Florida on Tuesday, the president urged greater use of several technologies to make America's power transmission system more efficient and better suited to the digital age. The projects include installing "smart" electric meters in homes, automating utility substations, and installing thousands of new digital transformers and grid sensors.

"There's something big happening in America in terms of creating a clean-energy economy," Obama said, although he added there is much more to be done.

He likened the effort to the ambitious development of the national highway system 50 years ago. He said modernization would lead to a "smarter, stronger and more secure electric grid."

Under muggy skies, Obama toured the DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, which is designed to generate enough energy for about 3,000 residential customers of the utility FPL. It is the nation's largest photovoltaic electricity facility.

Obama said a modern grid could give consumers better control over their electricity usage and costs, and spur development of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

The $3.4 billion in grants from the government's January economic stimulus program will be matched by $4.7 billion in private investments. The smallest grant will be $400,000 and the largest $200 million.

"We have a very antiquated (electric grid) system in our country," Carol Browner, assistant to the president for energy and climate change, told reporters. "The current system is outdated, it's dilapidated."

Matt Rogers, the Energy Department official involved in the program, said the 100 projects were selected from 400 proposed. The money will be distributed over the next two months and the work is expected to be done over the next one to three years, he said.

Even as Obama pitched more efficient and renewable energy use, his trip to Arcadia made it clear that old habits and dependencies die hard. He arrived in a motorcade of gas-guzzling SUVs. While waiting for the motorcade to get started, several vans kept their engines running to provide air conditioning for occupants escaping a hot Florida sun.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been at odds with Obama over health care, energy and other matters, praised the clean-energy initiative.
 

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  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

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