Quincy only small city in state to get ARRA grant for Smart Grid

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By Alice Du Pont

Jack McLean, Quincy city manager, could hardly contain himself Tuesday night during the regular meeting of the board of city commissioners.

"I have some really good news. We were informed that we will receive $2.47 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus bill, for Smart Grid technology. We are one of the few small cities in the nation to get the grant and the only small city in Florida to get it," McLean said.

For Quincy residential customers it could mean the difference regarding manageable utility bills. According to McLean, each customer will have a device installed in his or her home to measure the amount of electric, gas and water that is consumed. By monitoring their consumption, customers will see lower utility bills. The city has 36 months to implement the system.

"That is welcome news coming on the heels of what we've been discussing tonight about the increase in Southeastern Power Administration’s proposed 72 precent increase in rates in 2010," McLean said.

Talquin Electric Cooperative Inc. will receive $8.1 million to install a smart meter network system for 56,000 residential and commercial customers in North Florida. The grant will also allow for an outage management system with geographic information as part of the Smart Grid.

Congressman Allen Boyd said in a press release, "The countless benefits Smart Grid provides is why I've been a strong proponent of this technology for a long time, and I commend the recipients of this funding and look forward to working with them to further enhance our nation's energy delivery system."

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