North Carolina's electric utilities came out the biggest winners in President Obama's $3.4 billion nationwide investment in Smart Grid technologies. The federal stimulus package announced today will go to 49 states as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
This state's two biggest power companies -- Progress Energy and Duke Energy -- both qualified for maximum awards to upgrade their electricity delivery and power management systems. But much of the money awarded today will be spent by the utilities in other states where they operate.
A Smart Grid is a computerized electricity network with real-time data that operates more efficiently than a standard electro-mechanical grid. The U.S. Department of Energy said that Smart Grid upgrades could reduce electricity use by more than 4 percent by 2030.