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The Grid Modernization Act proposes to double the current federal investment in upgrading the US electrical system

In the US, the GridWise Alliance this week commended Senator Maria Cantwell for having released 'The Grid Modernization Act of 2015'.

Ms Cantwell said the aim of the act was to "address the emergence of disruptive new electric power technologies that are empowering consumers and challenging existing business models for delivering electricity".

The Act looks to double the federal investment in electric grid modernization activities and create a more flexible and efficient grid.

The Act authorizes US$200 million per year for the non-cybersecurity activities of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, doubling current funding.

It also authorizes a research and development program focused exclusively on grid-scale storage to accelerate the current public and private sector activity in this critical game-changing technology.

Smart grid industry responds

Scott Prochazka, president and CEO of CenterPoint Energy and Board Chairman of the GridWise Alliance, commented: "The Grid Modernization Act of 2015 will play a key role in facilitating the transformation to the future electric grid.

"It will help integrate a range of distributed energy resources, including storage, microgrids, and electric vehicles, into the grid.

"The bill also will drive increased security and reliability of the entire electric system."

Sharelynn Moore, vice president of Corporate Marketing and Public Affairs, Itron and GridWise Alliance Board Member, said: "This bill serves as an important step towards much needed grid modernization and will enable better management of precious resources.

"Senator Cantwell's leadership continues to drive energy policy forward, creating greater opportunities for a sustainable future."