The Dept. of Energy has selected 32 pilot projects to receive $620 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act aid to evaluate new technologies aimed at making the electricity network more efficient. The private sector is contributing more than $1 billion in matching funds for those projects. The “smart grid” awards, announced on Nov. 24, include $435.2 million for 16 regional grid projects and $184.8 million for 16 energy-storage projects. The largest grant is $88.8 million to Battelle Memorial Institute for a five-state project in the Pacific Northwest. DOE hopes the projects will lead to more extensive applications. In October,
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.