Governor congratulates university on ARRA funding for smart grids

Ritter: CU-Boulder will train work force for state's new energy economy
By Staff
Timothy Brown

Timothy Brown

Gov. Bill Ritter praised the University of Colorado at Boulder for being awarded $2.4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a smart grid work force training program. The money will help CU-Boulder build an engineering graduate program focused on smart grid technologies.

"CU-Boulder will help to train the work force of Colorado's New Energy Economy in smart grid applications and technologies," Ritter said. "We know that our future generations will use and create energy differently than we do and smart grid technologies will be critical to how we manage our energy consumption. Congratulations to CU-Boulder for receiving these funds and moving Colorado forward."

CU-Boulder will use the funding to build a sustainable graduate engineering program with a focus on networking, wireless communications, and cyber security within electric power systems. The academic program is designed for students seeking a full master's degree in science or a shorter certificate, and can be flexibly completed on campus or from anywhere online.

The joint program will be offered by the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program and the department of electrical, computer and energy engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. It is expected to begin in the fall.

"New technologies for distributed generation, communications and control, facilities automation, renewable energy sources and operations management are all changing the work force requirements for the industry," said ITP Director Timothy Brown. "There are exciting opportunities for a new generation of leaders who understand networking, wireless communication and security in the context of the energy industry."

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced award selections for nearly $100 million for 54 smart grid work force training programs that will help prepare the next generation of workers in the utility and electrical manufacturing industries. These projects will leverage more than $95 million in funding from community colleges, universities, utilities and manufacturers to develop and implement training programs. The selectees estimate that the programs will train about 30,000 Americans. These workers will help to modernize the nation's electrical grid and implement smart grid technologies in communities across the country.

At least $6.7 billion in Recovery Act money is expected to come to Colorado through more than 100 different programs. For more information about the Recovery Act in Colorado, visit Visit theU.S. Department of Energy for full details on the announcement.