CenterPoint Hits The Jackpot At The Federal Stimulus Feeding Trough

Let them bitch all they want in Chicago about getting shut out of federal stimulus funds for "smart-grid" power projects. Here in Houston, we're kicking ass.

The federal gummint, that socialistic, fascist Big Brother, announced today how it is spending $3.4 billion of your grandkid's money, and Houston's two largest power companies were big winners.

CenterPoint is getting $200 million to help with a nearly $640-million project to install 2.2 million smart meters and "more than 550 sensors and automated switches that will help protect against system disturbances like natural disasters."

Reliant gets $20 million towards a $65.5-million project to install smart meters.

The CenterPoint check is tied for being the biggest announced today, with Baltimore also getting $200 million.

About 400 projects were submitted by various entities, and 100 were selected.

The White House announced:

Proposals pending in Congress will "finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America,' Obama said after touring the largest solar energy plant of its kind in Arcadia, Fla. It will also "make the best use of resources we have in abundance through clean coal technology, safe nuclear power, sustainably grown biofuels, and energy we harness from the wind, waves and sun."

And, he apparently forgot to mention, smart meters. (We've asked CenterPoint for reaction to their big day; we'll update when we get it.)

At any rate: Eat our oh-so-green dust, Chicago.

Update: CenterPoint's reaction --

"We are very pleased that the DOE has agreed to help fund the deployment of our advanced metering system and the development of the intelligent grid," said Tom Standish, group president of Regulated Operations for CenterPoint Energy. "These funds will reduce the amount that Houston-area electric consumers will have to pay for this significant upgrade to our electric grid."

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