The Secretary shall establish a smart grid regional demonstration initiative (referred to in this subsection as the “Initiative”) composed of demonstration projects specifically focused on advanced technologies for use in power grid sensing, communications, analysis, and power flow control. The Secretary shall seek to leverage existing smart grid deployments.
In carrying out the initiative, the Secretary shall provide financial support to smart grid demonstration projects in urban, suburban, tribal, and rural areas, including areas where electric system assets are controlled by nonprofit entities and areas where electric system assets are controlled by investor-owned utilities.
A demonstration project under subparagraph (A) shall be carried out in cooperation with the electric utility that owns the grid facilities in the electricity control area in which the demonstration project is carried out.
The Secretary shall provide to an electric utility described in subparagraph (B) or to other parties financial assistance for use in paying an amount equal to not more than 50 percent of the cost of qualifying advanced grid technology investments made by the electric utility or other party to carry out a demonstration project.
No person or entity participating in any demonstration project conducted under this subsection shall be eligible for grants under section 17386 of this title for otherwise qualifying investments made as part of that demonstration project.
The Secretary shall establish and maintain a smart grid information clearinghouse in a timely manner which will make data from smart grid demonstration projects and other sources available to the public. As a condition of receiving financial assistance under this subsection, a utility or other participant in a smart grid demonstration project shall provide such information as the Secretary may require to become available through the smart grid information clearinghouse in the form and within the timeframes as directed by the Secretary. The Secretary shall assure that business proprietary information and individual customer information is not included in the information made available through the clearinghouse.
The Secretary shall require as a condition of receiving funding under this subsection that demonstration projects utilize open protocols and standards (including Internet-based protocols and standards) if available and appropriate.