Gov. Ritter Congratulates CU-Boulder for Receiving Recovery Act Funding to Build Smart Grid Workforce

Published: April 8, 2010

Gov. Bill Ritter praised the University of Colorado at Boulder for being awarded $2.4 million in Recovery Act funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a smart grid workforce training program. The funds will help CU-Boulder to build an engineering graduate program focused on smart grid technologies.

"CU-Boulder will help to train the workforce of Colorado's New Energy Economy in smart grid applications and technologies," said Gov. Ritter. "We know that our future generations will use and create energy differently than we do and smart grid technologies will be critical to how we manage our energy consumption. Congratulations to CU-Boulder for receiving these funds and moving Colorado forward."

CU-Boulder will use these funds to build a sustainable graduate engineering program with a focus on networking, wireless communications, and cyber security within electric power systems. The academic program is designed for students seeking a full Master of Science degree or a shorter certificate and can be flexibly completed on-campus or from anywhere online.

The joint program will be offered by the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program and the department of electrical, computer and energy engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. It is expected to begin in the fall.

"New technologies for distributed generation, communications and control, facilities automation, renewable energy sources and operations management are all changing the workforce requirements for the industry," said ITP Director Timothy Brown. "There are exciting opportunities for a new generation of leaders who understand networking, wireless communication and security in the context of the energy industry."

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced award selections for nearly $100 million for 54 smart grid workforce training programs that will help prepare the next generation of workers in the utility and electrical manufacturing industries. These projects will leverage more than $95 million in funding from community colleges, universities, utilities and manufacturers to develop and implement training programs. The selectees estimate that the programs will train approximately 30,000 Americans. These workers will help to modernize the nation's electrical grid and implement smart grid technologies in communities across the country.

At least $6.7 billion in Recovery Act funds is expected to come to Colorado through more than 100 different programs. For more information about the Recovery Act in Colorado, . Visit the U.S. Department of Energy for full details on the announcement.

Professor Timothy Brown, director of CU-Boulder's Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program