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MLGW News Release
 
MLGW receives $5 million federal grant to begin Smart Grid upgrades
October 28, 2009
(October 27, 2009) - Memphis Light, Gas and Water has received a federal grant to install a communication and control system in the electric grid serving the downtown and medical district areas. The system will enhance reliability in the area by giving MLGW additional insight into potential electric grid problems before outages occur and allow significantly improved analysis to design and troubleshoot the system.

The $5.063 million grant, announced today by President Obama, is part of the largest single power grid modernization investment in U.S. history, funding a broad range of projects designed to ease the nationís transition to a smarter, stronger, more efficient and reliable electric system.

This grant only covers the communication infrastructure and reliability upgrades in the downtown and medical district areas, and does not include any installation of smart meters. In addition, no employees will be affected by this grant.

"We are ecstatic to receive this grant. It means that we will now have incredible insight into our electric grid. We will be able to see, measure and control the electric system like never before. This unique system is self healing, so it will significantly reduce most electric problems in the key downtown and medical center districts," said MLGW President and CEO Jerry Collins, Jr.

The total cost of the upgrades is $10.5 million. The grant will cover about half of the cost, with MLGW paying the remaining costs. The project is built into the 2010 budget, which does not include any rate increases.

In addition to the MLGW grant, Knoxville Utilities Board received $3 million and The Electric Power Board of Chattanooga received $111 million for enhancements of their electric systems.

MLGW is the largest three-service public power utility in the nation, serving more than 420,000 customers in Memphis and Shelby County.