“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What exactly is a Smart-Grid?

Obama to Announce $3.4 Billion in Electric ‘Smart-Grid’ Grants

By Nicholas Johnston

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama today will announce $3.4 billion in government grants for equipment to improve the efficiency of the nation’s electrical transmission network.

The grants, ranging in size from $400,000 to $200 million, will be used to develop and install “smart-grid” technology to make electricity transmission more reliable and aid the transmission of energy generated from sources like wind and solar power.

“The current system is outdated and dilapidated,” Carol Browner, the White House’s top energy adviser, said in a conference call with reporters late yesterday. Today’s grants “will give us a transformational impact on how electricity is generated, delivered and consumed,” she said.

The money comes from the $787 billion economic stimulus legislation approved by Congress in February. Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, said during the conference call the grants will “save or create tens of thousands” of jobs.

Bernstein said Oct. 15 the stimulus legislation has created or saved about 1 million jobs since it was enacted. The nation’s unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent last month, and the president has said he expects it to exceed 10 percent before it starts coming down.

Solar Power Plant

Obama will announce the grants today in Arcadia, Florida, at one of the nation’s largest solar power generating facilities. Florida Power & Light Co.’s DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center will generate enough power for 3,000 homes when it is completed.

The president will highlight new technologies to transmit electricity from places like Arcadia, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southeast of Tampa, to locations where energy demand is greater.

“Places with either solar or wind aren’t always the most populous areas of the country, and you’ve got to find a vehicle that’s technologically capable of moving clean power to places where the demand is greatest,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters traveling with the president yesterday.

One of the largest grants being announced is $200 million for Constellation Energy Group Inc.’s Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. to provide new electric meters to 1.1 million households that will allow real-time monitoring of electricity use and help customers adjust their usage during peak times.

Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric Co. will receive $28.1 million to build a wireless system to link the utility’s 1.4 million meters and monitor other equipment across the electrical grid.

The 100 government grants in 49 states are being matched by $4.7 billion in private investments.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Johnston in Washington at njohnston3@bloomberg.net


  1. My sister works on the smart grid for the Bonneville Power Administration. Smart family.

  2. Maybe Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman will get some business. They make electonic stuff used all over the world to keep the juice flowing evenly.

  3. As best I can figure out all the smart grid does is allow the electric company to fiddle with your thermostat settings.

  4. Wow, listening to all that I think two things--

    "The machines are gonna fail."

    And I almost think I want 'em to.

    Turbines up in the jet stream?!

    Schweitzer makes devices that if something goes down, it quickly reroutes it, so a whole area doesn't remain dark, just a block or two. Among other things they make.

  5. And raise your 'smart bill' Rufus.

  6. Bakersfield, CA was PG&E's first guinea pig.
    Folks were not pleased with their bigger bills.
    One guy reported his usage supposedly went up during a blackout!
    PG&E said it was based on an estimate!

  7. The Taliban-Al Qaeda merger.

    Nearly every major jihadist plot against Western targets in the last two decades somehow leads back to Afghanistan or Pakistan.

    --- The first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 was masterminded by Ramzi Yousef, who had trained in an Al Qaeda camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

    --- Ahmed Ressam, who plotted to blow up LAX airport in 1999, was trained in Al Qaeda's Khaldan camp in Afghanistan.

    --- Key operatives in the suicide attacks on two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998 and the USS Cole in 2000 trained in Afghanistan;

    --- so did all 19 September 11 hijackers.

    --- The leader of the 2002 Bali attack that killed more than 200 people, mostly Western tourists, was a veteran of the Afghan camps.

    --- The ringleader of the 2005 London subway bombing was trained by Al Qaeda in Pakistan.

    --- The British plotters who planned to blow up passenger planes leaving Heathrow in the summer of 2006 were taking direction from Pakistan; a July 25, 2006, e-mail from their Al Qaeda handler in that country, Rashid Rauf, urged them to "get a move on." If that attack had succeeded, as many as 1,500 would have died.

    --- The three men who, in 2007, were planning to attack Ramstein Air Base, a U.S. facility in Germany, had trained in Pakistan's tribal regions.

    And yet, as President Obama weighs whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, the connection between the region and Al Qaeda has suddenly become a matter of hot dispute in Washington.
    We are told that September 11 was as much a product of plotting in Hamburg as in Afghanistan; that Al Qaeda and the Taliban are quite distinct groups, and that we can therefore defeat the former while tolerating the latter; that flushing jihadists out of one failing state will merely cause them to pop up in another anarchic corner of the globe; that, in the age of the Internet, denying terrorists a physical safe haven isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    These arguments point toward one conclusion: The effort to secure Afghanistan is not a matter of vital U.S. interest.
    But those who make this case could not be more mistaken.

  8. I'm much more frightened by the government's ability to turn off my furnace than I am by a "training camp" in Afghanistan.

    After all, how did Saddam "punish" those towns/cities that he was displeased with? He cut off their electricity.

    Smart Grid, Smart Diplomacy, Smart Car - I'm starting to hate the word, "Smart."

  9. If you are a good citizen, Rufus, it won't ever happen to you!

  10. There's a reason Afghanistan is "Afghanistan." It hasn't changed in three thousand years, and it's not going to change now. We can put a half a million troops in there, but as soon as we take them out it will be "Afghanistan."

    Poor, Dirty, Backward, Brutal, Ungovernable, Afghanistan.

  11. To qualify as a "good citizen" you gotta embrace hope and change Rufus.
    Otherwise you might have a cold winter.
    Not very "Smart"

  12. Doug, all those assholes you list wouldn't have been able to do jack shit if we didn't let them into the country. Build TWO fences, patrol the borders, and NOBODY comes into the country if they originated from a country that is dominated by the Religion of Peace. Oh, yeah, that means we have to relocate the United Nations to France.

  13. Hell, we not only let'em in, we taught'em how to "Fly." Even those who weren't interested in learning how to "Land."

  14. You forget the plan of one America, T:
    Mexicans will become more like us because there are more of us, just ask 'Rat.
    (The fact that the schools, the welfare state, the media, and pop culture teach them not to has no effect whatsoever, of course.)

  15. We missed our "teachable" moment at Tora Bora. It sucks, but it's going to continue getting worse until we have the gonads to "Nuke Somebody."

  16. The Voice of the Prophet

    A truly chilling example of foreshadowing, The Voice of the Prophet is an interview with Rick Rescorla, the head of security for the investment firm Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
    Filmed on the 44th floor of the World Trade Center in 1998, Rescorla details the future of warfare long before Osama bin Laden became America's Most Wanted.

    A retired Army colonel, veteran of combat in three wars and a survivor of the 1993 bombing of the twin towers (in which he saved the lives of hundreds of Morgan Stanley employees), Rescorla was killed in the WTC attacks of September 11, 2001. In this interview, Rescorla all but predicts the events that lead up to the September 11 attack and the war on terrorism that followed.

  17. Rufus, somewhere along the line between the Korean War and Nixon, the nuclear option became taboo. Ike was going to nuke the Norks, that's pretty much what got them to sit down and talk. I'm thinking the Cuban Missile crisis rattled a lot of policy makers.

  18. America needs a Ronald Reagan to repair the damage of this one-termer named Barack Hussein Maobama. Jindal ain’t it, he boofed his debut, and Palin ain’t it, America hates quitters and frankly she’s a moron. Newt is a RINO who supports RINO Dede Scozzafava in NY-23 and drug testing for all Americans (more fascist than anything Obama could ram through). That leaves Romney, Huckabee, and Ron Paul. My guess is that Huckabee breaks out of the pack for 2012.

  19. I've, personally, never heard Sarah Palin say anything, "Moronic." Jes sayin.

    I do know one thing. She's the only Republican that can draw a crowd.

  20. Rufus, I wish I was wrong about Palin, I was excited about her before, but Jeez Louise can't the GOP elect a thinker for a change?

  21. I'm much more frightened by the government's ability to turn off my furnace than I am by a "training camp" in Afghanistan.

    And you live in the South!

    Doug's immune, so's Rat, I'm looking really vulnerable.

  22. The two are not related, doug.

    You'd still have all the problems of progressive politics, even if Mexico ceased to exist.

    You are blaming the effect, calling it a cause.

    Sorry, that vitriol just falls short of the reality you have preached for years, with regard the short failings of our education system and the cause.

    The NEA. Now that you need another cause for the effects, you manufacture one, the students.

    Whether or not I think it is a goos idea, or a policy that we should embrace, I've not come to a firm conclusion. That we are moving in that direction, well, that goes to the heart of Skull & Boners program of continued homogenization of the whirled's cultures..

  23. Hell, we not only let'em in, we taught'em how to "Fly." Even those who weren't interested in learning how to "Land."

    T'ain't funny Magee, but you broke me out laughing there.

    How damn dumb can we be?

    O yeah, we're building a memorial to 'em, using their symbom.

  24. symbol

    You're just off of Palin on some policy issues, Miss T. What's she said that's so dumb.

    Reagan said trees cause pollution. Beat that if you can, and he was a good President.

  25. She's had a big impact on this health debate by coming up with one phrase--death panels, which is what they would be too.

    Roe v Wade started out as a tri-semester scheme, look where we are now.

  26. Jindal ain’t it he's not a natural born citizen, but that doesn't matter anymore.

    Maybe we ought to look totally out of the country for the talent.

  27. Iran's proxy just keeps on murdering Americans..

    and what do we do?

    we dither..

    we pick lint from our navel...

    Iran is funding and supplying (amongst others) the jihadists...

  28. Which jihadi groups are the Iranians funding, "Misdirection"?

    Which ones of those have attacked and killed US residents, in the United States?

    I know that the Wahhabists have attacked the US, but those folk are at war with the Iranians, too.

  29. The difference, 'Rat, is that a percentage of students from this country have parents that are still patriots for this country enough to bring some of the kids through intact.

    For folks from Mexico, the number is near zero, 'cause they are starting from a position of having Mexico, not the USA, not only as their country of origin, but their cultural and historic heritage.

    Usta be our institutions instilled respect for this country.
    Been a long time since that was the case, now.

  30. I got a hunch Sarah Palin is a pretty smart cookie, but, one lacking in any foreign policy knowledge. Maybe, we'll be pleasantly surprised to hear that she's been "boning up."

    Newt is worthless. Romney can't get the nod (something about underwear.) Huckabee is a "bible-thumper.) Thompson's too old, and lazy. Pawlenty is just the most boring person in the world. We're not in too good a shape, here.

  31. Maybe some of the weapons and explosives in Afghanistan are coming from or financed by Iran.

  32. The "Plan", doug, calls for the Walmarting of Mexico, which continues apace.

    The demand that became a need, that the US has created, for low skilled and paid workers is immense.

    That the US decided not to secure its' borders and invited upwards of 20 million undocumented workers and families into the country, not the fault of those we invited to the game.

    That some of the new residents do not want to acclimate to US, just a bumb in the road, if you live in the shadow of the UN building.

    Or in the metaphorical conga line.

  33. It is a culture war, doug, and we are taking casualties as we advance.

    But that our culture is advancing and still ascendant, at least in the Americas, is without a doubt.

    That we will not leave the field as we entered it, a foregone conclusion.

    But then we never have been unaffected by wars we've won, before. Usually the greater the victory, the more the status que changed.
    WWII stands in testament to that, as does Mr Lincoln's Civil War.

  34. I've been told they assimilate in a generation, like all the others but this group may be so large maybe not.

  35. The facts fly in the face of that assertion, Anon.
    The way it used to be is they assimilated in the FIRST generation.
    ...and were better Americans than the natives.
    Good Old Days.

  36. "That some of the new residents do not want to acclimate to US, just a bumb in the road, if you live in the shadow of the UN building."
    Some = Vast Majority

  37. As long as 3% of the whirled's population is consuming more than 20% of the whirled's output, those folks are winning.

    No matter who or where they are.

    That is the mercantile measure that we have created for ourselves.

    If 3% of the whirled's population had control of 15% of the output, they'd still be far ahead of the rest, and still be winning.

    Just that the "lead" would have diminished. In the ebb and flow of whirled competition.

  38. ...and those that do want to assimilate into Obama's "America"

    ...or Amerika, as I put it, to please Rufus.

  39. No, doug. It does not mean the "vast majority".

    That you have gained this flawed insight from your perch in Pacific Polynesia is testament to your lack of personal involvement with the issues of immigration and cultural transformation, here in America...

  40. Dollars are a measure of cultural strength?

  41. Ok, recent immigrants largely become well educated patriots.
    My Ass.

  42. As long as 3% of the whirled's population is consuming more than 20% of the whirled's output

    Not to argue, but I always wonder about figures like that. I don't know or if anyone really does what our share of the world's total output exactly is, but I bet it's a lot more than three percent, in one way or another.

    If you don't create anything how can those that do be criticized for consuming what they've created?

  43. "The demand that became a need, that the US has created, for low skilled and paid workers is immense."
    Indeed, we have a need for great numbers of new workers with unemployment north of 10%.
    A critical shortage of labor!

  44. Our economy is 3 times the size of China's, anon, but they already produce more CO2 than us!

  45. ...not that CO2 is a bad thing, but a good measure of their inefficiency compared to us.

  46. Minuteman/Neighborhood Hoffman +5

    CFG/Basswood Research Hoffman +4

    Daily Kos Owens +5

  47. The undocumented are not part of that reporting pool of laborers, doug. At least a large part of that population is not.

    That auto assembling workers for the "Big Three" cannot get 40 hrs is not the fault of the maid working at the hot sheet motel in Corona, CA.

  48. That GM built assembly facilities in Mexico rather than the United States, another verification of the trending towards the homogenization of the Americas.

    Furthered by the US tax codes.

  49. If I were him I'd get down on my knees and Beg Sarah Palin to come campaign with me.

  50. bah! Palin appeals to the base and pretty well only the base. Those folk aren't going anywhere.

  51. "bah! Palin appeals to the base and pretty well only the base. Those folk aren't going anywhere."

    That's the problem, without a palatable candidate, they won't even go to the polls.

  52. And with a palatable candidate, they can't get more than 48% of the vote, Nationally.

    If that.

    The race in New York will be illustrative. A "conservative", a Republican and a Democrat.

    All running in the same race.

    If the Republican loses and the even more liberal Democrat wins, blame the "conservative".
    Just as bob blamed Libertarians in WI for Al Franken's election.

    The "third party" is always to be blamed for the Republicans losing.
    It's never their own fault or responsibility.
    It was not that Norm Coleman was a poor Senator, not representing the people of his State that caused over 60% of the electorate there to vote against him.

    It was the 3% of the Libertarian voters that voted their priciples.

    How convenient.

    The Democrats accepted the "Blue Dogs" into their ranks, despite some policy differences.

    To gain the levers of power and the control that majorities bring, in the Congress.

    Where are the moderate Republicans, The "Pink Cats" that would represent the Republicans from liberal areas, to match the "Blue Dogs"?
    Why the "conservatives" of the GOP stab them in the back, come election time. As is so aptly illustrated in new York.

    The GOP feeding upon their own.