WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced more than $3.2 million in federal funds for two Ohio smart grid workforce training programs. The funds, distributed through the U.S. Department of Energy, will be used to train electrical engineers and other members of the industry in the development and application of smart electrical grid technology.
"Through our skilled workforce and strong supply chain, Ohio will lead the nation in the clean energy economy," Brown said. "These funds will ensure that our workers have the training they need to upgrade our energy infrastructure, increase our energy efficiency, and help attract new jobs in the clean energy industry."
The Ohio State University in Columbus has been selected to receive approximately $2.5 million to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum for electric power engineers. This program will include a test platform that will simulate the functions of a real smart grid in an integrative environment. Cuyahoga Community College District was also selected to receive funding that will be used to develop and implement classroom, lab, work-site, and online instruction methods. Ohio will benefit from a $3.4 million training program that will be implemented by Duke Energy. Under the selected project, Duke Energy will provide smart grid training for over 3,100 employees in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.
Adaptive electrical grids help to conserve otherwise wasted energy and boost the distance electricity can be transmitted, allowing greater opportunity for clean energy manufacturing. These awards represent the latest investment in Ohio smart grid capability and builds on the more than $4 billion in national Recovery Act funding for smart grid deployment and demonstration projects. Workers will receive training on the transmission and distribution systems as well as new intelligent grid systems, such as smart meters, phasor measurement sensors and advanced communication networks.
Sen. Brown has been working with his colleagues to ensure clean energy legislation provides support to the regions, industries, and consumers most affected by the legislation. Brown wrote a letter to Energy Secretary Chu in July 2009 in support of funds to support smart grid technology. In March 2010, Brown introduced the Program for Offshore Wind Energy Research and Development (POWERED) Act of 2010. This legislation includes plans for utilization of clean energy through smart electric grids including new transmission, storage, and responsive-load technology.