T&D World Magazine

Mica-Tech to Seek $2 Million Federal Grant to Develop Satellite-Based Power Grid Control and Monitoring System

AML Communications' wholly owned subsidiary Mica-Tech, Inc. has filed a letter of intent with U.S. Department of Energy, stipulating that Mica-Tech intends to apply for a matching grant of up to $2 million under the Smart Grid Investment Grant program.

AML and Mica-Tech are seeking the grant to help complete the development and introduction of a new generation of two-way, highly secure, satellite-based control and monitoring systems for electric utility substations. Mica-Tech completed development of a first generation system that performs the communications functions for monitoring and control of the power grid under funding provided by a major Southern California power utility. The previously developed products have been deployed successfully in California during the last 10 years. The deadline for formal grant applications is Aug. 6, 2009, and Mica-Tech intends to ask for a grant to cover 50% of its total developmental costs, estimated at $4 million.

Total funding for the SGIG program is approximately $3.4 billion, some or all of which will come from Federal economic stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. SGIG projects will be funded based on merit and in accordance with the Recovery Act, which provides guidance and processes for managing and carrying out projects under the Act.

The overall purpose of the SGIG program is to accelerate the modernization of the nation’s electric transmission and distribution systems and promote investments in smart grid technologies, tools, and techniques which increase flexibility, functionality, interoperability, cyber-security, situational awareness, and operational efficiency. The products developed must be marketable and deployed on a commercial scale. Grants cover 50% of the development cost and allow for co-participation. AML will be a co-participator to Mica-Tech, bolstering Mica-Tech’s financial ability to undertake the program.

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