Charlotte-based Duke Energy has applied for a Department of Energy grant that will go toward revolutionizing the utility’s energy delivery system. Duke Energy has applied for $200 million in federal infrastructure funds to accelerate the utility’s $1 billion-electric grid modernizing project in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, which is one of the largest “smart grid” initiatives in the country.The company also applied for $14 million in federal funds for smart grid transmission lines and demonstration projects in South Carolina and North Carolina. Duke Electric submitted its applications to the U.S. Department of Energy, which will award $4.5 billion in smart grid grants nationwide as part of the the economic stimulus and infrastructure bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama earlier this year.
Duke Energy plans to convert its entire energy-delivery infrastructure into an advanced, state-of-the-art smart grid. Essentially an “energy internet” the smart grid will use two-way digital communication to improve energy efficiency, bolster system reliability and detect power outages. It will also integrate renewable energy into the grid and reduce carbon emissions.
Duke Energy is the nation’s third-largest electric utility.