RALEIGH, NC - Progress Energy's Smart Grid grant application was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy this week for award negotiations as part of the federal stimulus package. The $200 million grant application proposes to use grant funds, combined with $320 million in matching dollars from Progress Energy, for several system and equipment upgrades in the Carolinas and Florida that will enable the utility to control voltage levels and will facilitate a more efficient flow of electricity across power lines.

Federal funds would also allow Progress Energy to invest in some additional public infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) to encourage faster adoption in service territories. Progress Energy is a utility partner in several PEV grants awarded by the federal government earlier this year.

In addition, the company also proposed to use funds for the installation of 160,000 "smart" meters capable of two-way communication. Smart meters capture information which, once new technology becomes available, will allow customers to view and control their energy use. Information also flows to the utility, alerting dispatchers to power outages and other problems, making it unnecessary for the customer to call and allowing the utility to begin repairs and restore service more quickly.