Idaho Power, Avista to get energy grants - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho Power, Avista to get energy grants

BOISE, Idaho. - Idaho Power Co. and Avista Corp. are in line to get millions in federal dollars to modernize transmission lines, make the power grid more efficient and create new jobs to do it.

The Obama administration is making about $3.4 billion available in government support for 100 projects nationwide aimed at modernizing the power grid. Officials say a more modern grid is critical to goals of giving consumers better control over electricity usage and costs.

Officials say Idaho Power will get $47 million to upgrade transmission lines and its distribution network and integrate so-called "smart meter" technology for customers.

Avista is getting $20 million for similar projects. U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Idaho, says the investments will help improve the utility infrastructure and prepare Idaho to be a leader in the new energy economy.

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