Colleges, universities, utilities, and manufacturers are working together to create new training, development, and enhancement programs in schools and businesses across the country. New technologies are emerging to improve the nation’s electric grid, and the sector workforce must reflect the increased skills and knowledge to install, monitor, and maintain the infrastructure. Supported by DOE Recovery Act funding, these programs help train the next generation of workers and ensure that the evolving technical challenges of the sector are met.
An article in the March 2012 issue of the quarterly publication Metering International focuses on DOE's Smart Grid Investment Grant program, highlighting how the program is improving the reliability and resiliency of the US electric grid. The article examines the need to protect the grid and the benefits of modernization, including reduced demand, increased capacity, and faster recovery. OE's Debbie Haught, who oversees the SGIG program, and Joseph Palladino, who leads the analysis of the program, authored the piece. Metering International provides information on trends and developments in the industry.
As their industry took a turn for the worse a few years ago, houseboat manufacturers teamed up with local government and the University of Kentucky -- and are now using green building technologies to build small, energy efficient houses.
To help reverse the trend of letting police cars idle (and waste fuel), the City of Tallahassee, Florida’s Fleet Management Division has designed and built its own Less Idle Time (LIT) package and has installed the equipment in 27 police cars using EECBG funding through the Recovery Act.
A manufacturer of crystalline solar cells recently opened a new manufacturing facility for the assembly of solar panels by plant staff and robots in Milwaukee. This project is a result of Recovery Act funds from the Energy Department’s State Energy Program (SEP).
Recently, I visited Albany, Oregon, to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony at the newest facility for the advanced materials company, EnerG2. The new facility will produce advanced carbon materials for electric drive vehicles batteries and ultracapacitors that can rapidly store and discharge energy.
As modernization of the nation’s electric grid moves forward, consumers and businesses are experiencing fewer outages, faster power restoration when outages do occur, more efficient operations, and cost savings. Here are some of the latest examples of how Smart Grid Investment Grants from the Energy Department are helping the electric grid to better serve the American people.