N.C. State University has been awarded nearly $3.5 million in federal stimulus funds as part of a federally-sponsored initiative to train the nation's workers in smart grid technologies.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced N.C. State's grant Thursday as one of 54 projects nationwide. As part of the $100 million program, Charlotte-based Duke Energy was named for a $2.5 million grant to train more than 3,100 workers at the company's electric utilities in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.
The term "smart grid" refers to a computerized digital electricity delivery management system of the network that will one day replace the nation's aging electro-mechanical power grid. Smart grids will allow customers to use the Internet to make thermostat settings, control appliances, check household energy usage and recharge electric cars.
N.C. State's grant is to create a Master's program in engineering in electric power systems. This an intensive, 10-month program will be offered to new graduates as well as experienced professionals.