The DOE notified ATC in October that two of its applications for smart grid investment grants were selected for smart grid grant awards. The grants to ATC are among 100 made nationwide – totaling $3.4bn by the DOE to advance smart grid technologies.

One of the grants will be used to equip ATC substations with phasor measurement units( PMU), a new technology for monitoring the status of the grid in real time.

ATC installed a limited number of the PMU devices on its system last year and evaluated their performance with a positive result. A $1.3m grant will help ATC equip remaining substations in its footprint with the smart technology.

A second $11.4m grant will assist ATC in extending the use of fiber optic cable to enhance communications between the company’s substations and its system operations centers.

ATC has installed optical ground wire (OPGW) on a number of recent transmission construction projects. The more widespread use of OPGW that will be fostered by the grant will provide it with a secure data network infrastructure, the company said.

The OPGW will also provide a means to transmit information from the PMUs back to the operations centers for use in system analysis.

ATC has three years to spend the grant money. Projects are currently in the detail design phase and construction will continue into early 2013.

John Procario, president and CEO of ATC, said: ”We are pleased to enter into these agreements and take part in the effort to more fully deploy smart grid technologies to enhance the operation of our transmission system.

”These projects will help improve our ability to monitor the grid and enhance the reliability of the transmission infrastructure needed to help keep the lights on.”