When President Barack Obama announced $3.4 billion in economic stimulus funds to modernize the nation's electrical grid, three Tennessee cities emerged with shares of the federal largess – but Nashville was not one of them.
An application from Nashville Electric Service for a $51 million grant toward a smart-grid infrastructure project did not make the cut to become one of the 100 recipients chosen for the program. NES had applied in coordination with the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The bid from the city's electric utility made it through an initial compliance review but did not meet with the success that utilities from Chattanooga, Memphis and Knoxville enjoyed. Led by a $111.6 million grant meant to help the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga deploy a "smart meter network" to all of its customers, Tennessee pulled in a total of $120.2 million from the awards announced Tuesday.
The smart-grid initiative is a component of the $787 billion American Reinvestment and Recovery Act enacted early this year. The White House has hailed the program as "the largest single energy grid modernization investment" in U.S. history.
NES spokesperson Teresa Corlew confirmed that the utility had sought the funds. "We are supposed to receive an assessment report of our application in the future but have no further information at this point," she said.