April 21, 2010 - The Smart Grid Energy Training Coalition has been awarded a grant of $2.5 million from the Department of Energy for the purpose of developing a smart grid workforce training program. The coalition, led by the University of Houston includes CenterPoint Energy, San Jacinto College, the Power Technology Institute, SkillsNET and the Texas Business and Education Coalition.

“This grant is a tremendous achievement for UH and the coalition, which is dedicated to developing a regional and national skill centre that will be the focus of hands-on training for electric power sector employees,” said Raymond E. Cline Jr., a research professor in UH’s College of Technology and program manager for the project. “The Houston region is engaged in significant build-outs of smart meter and intelligent grid systems that require attention to workforce training issues.”

The university will develop a “hands-on” training program which will will focus on activities that support electricians, line workers, technicians, system operators, power system engineers, cyber security specialists and transmission planners.

“We are very pleased the coalition has received this DOE award for smart grid workforce training program development,” said Kenny Mercado, senior vice president of CenterPoint Energy’s smart grid deployment. “These funds will help provide training programs that are a part of our efforts to deliver more quickly the benefits of smart meters and the intelligent grid to Houston-area electric consumers.”