The first city in the nation to receive smart grid funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is running out of money and time - with work still left to do. A report in the Glendale News-Press says a stripped-down city budget dramatically decreased funding in the final year of Glendale Water & Power's smart grid project, leading officials to ask the DOE for a deadline extension.
According to the report, the municipal utility had expected to spend $10 million on the finishing touches to its smart grid project this fiscal year, but the city council approved only $450,000. An electricity rate increase or bond approval are possibilities for making up the shortfall.
We told you last fall that Glendale had completed the smart meter phase of its project, supplying 120,000 customers with smart electric and water meters supported by $20 million in federal stimulus dollars. But there are other facets of the overall project yet to be completed and, according to the News-Press report, some of the necessary infrastructure has already been purchased but not installed due to lack of funds.
Under terms of the stimulus grants, utilities have to meet specific deadlines but the DOE has extended them for other utilities and is reportedly reviewing Glendale's request.
You may also want to readâ€¦
GWP's social energy app: a fun way for customers to cut power use, costs
Don't try smart grid without it: Glendale gets integration architecture
GWP's smart grid ranked among the highest in utility survey