The DOE funds are made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and subject to negotiation of final terms and conditions between the company and the DOE. The funds would enable the installation of about 149,000 smart meters and related infrastructure associated with specific projects in Black Hills’ Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming electric service territories.

Black Hills Energy – Colorado Electric received preliminary approval for $6.1m in matching funds for the installation of an additional 42,000 smart meters and communications infrastructure that will help facilitate automated meter reading and provide a pilot for a pricing program in southeastern Colorado service area.

Black Hills Power received preliminary approval for $5.6m in funds toward the installation of 69,000 smart meters, along with the communications infrastructure, IT software and equipment necessary to initiate a smart grid system in their service area in western South Dakota and Wyoming. Cheyenne Light received preliminary approval for $5m in matching funds toward the installation of 38,000 smart meters and communications infrastructure.

David Emery, chairman, president and CEO of Black Hills, said: “We are pleased that our three electric utility applications were among the 100 selected by the DOE for funding and were chosen from the more-than 400 that were submitted for review. We will evaluate the Department of Energy’s proposal and hope to move forward with projects that will benefit our customers, communities and shareholders.”