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Atlanta-based energy company Southern Co. has completed the smart grid development efforts associated with the $165 million Smart Grid Investment Grant awarded to the company by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009.

Southern reports that through a combination of matching funds and additional investments, the company spent a total of $363 million to accelerate smart grid implementation.

According to the company, Southern received the four-year grant in 2009 to further integrate smart grid technologies into its transmission and distribution system. Using the smart grid technologies, the company says it can monitor and control the electric infrastructure in real time and respond quickly to existing and potential problems. Southern adds that the investment allows for enhanced grid efficiency management, stronger operational security and heightened protection, and control devices for improved reliability.

More than $5 million in costs have been avoided as a result of the grant, Southern notes.

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