Tuesday, October 27, 2009

$3.4billion for "smart grid" upgrades on the way(ITRI)

Reuters is reporting that $3.4billion of the stimulus package will be dispersed among 200 electric utilities and related infrastructure firms to upgrade the nation's "smart grid."

The grants, which range from $400,000 to $200 million, will go to 100 companies, utilities, manufacturers, cities and other partners in 49 states.
"It is fair to say that the current (grid) system is certainly outdated. It's dilapidated," Carol Browner, the president's top adviser on climate change and energy issues, told reporters in a telephone briefing

The money will pay for about 18 million smart meters that will help consumers manage energy use in their homes, 700 automated substations to make it faster for utilities to restore power knocked out by storms and 200,000 smart transformers that allow power companies to replace units before they fail, thus avoiding outages.

While this should benefit a huge amount of firms providing services and construction to utilities, one that comes to mind is Itron Inc (ITRI), trading up 6% - despite a down market - on the news.

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