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Vice President Joe Biden addresses the audience at the ABB plant in Jefferson City, Missouri.

This afternoon Vice President Joe Biden toured the ABB plant in Jefferson City and then addressed an audience of approximately 350 employees and guests. The ABB plant employs 650 people “…and manufactures transformers that are used to increase voltage to transmit power onto the grid, or decrease voltage to serve a residential neighborhood…”

…Lost Creek is a wind energy project located in DeKalb County [Missouri] being developed by Wind Capital Group. The $300 million project will be capable of generating 150 MW of power when it is completed and will utilize transformers manufactured by ABB at the Jefferson City plant by UAW labor…Lost Creek is a beneficiary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and will create hundreds of local construction jobs.

[emphasis added]

It’s all about promoting the practical results of the economic stimulus package as they kick in.

Missouri Secretary of State (and announced candidate for the open United States Senate seat in 2010) Robin Carnahan (D).

The audience from the media “cut riser”.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) (left).

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

An ABB employee introduces the Vice President.


Office of the Vice President


April 16, 2009

Vice President Biden Outlines Funding for Smart Grid Initiatives

Announces plans for nearly $4 billion in technology deployment, monitoring and viability

Washington, DC – Vice President Joe Biden, on a visit to Jefferson City, Missouri, today with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, detailed plans by the Department of Energy to develop a smart, strong and secure electrical grid, which will create new jobs and help deliver reliable power more effectively with less impact on the environment to customers across the nation. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Vice President outlined plans to distribute more than $3.3 billion in smart grid technology development grants and an additional $615 million for smart grid storage, monitoring and technology viability.

“We need an upgraded electrical grid to take full advantage of the vast renewable resources in this country – to take the wind from the Midwest and the sun from the Southwest and power areas across the country,” said Vice President Biden.  “By investing in updating the grid now, we will lower utility bills for American families and businesses, lessen our dependence on foreign oil and create good jobs that will drive our economic recovery – a strong return on our investment.”

On the visit to Jefferson City today, Secretary Locke also announced plans for a Smart Grid meeting in Washington, D.C. that he will chair with Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The event, which will take place in early May, will bring together leaders from key stakeholders’ organizations, largely from private industry, to begin a critical discussion about developing industry-wide standards that will enable the Smart Grid to become a reality.   Additionally, industry leaders at the meeting will be expected to pledge to harmonize industry standards critical to developing the smart grid, commit to a timetable to reach a standards agreement and abide by the standards devised.

The meeting will provide a forum for industry leaders to move toward an industry standards agreement critical to developing the Smart Grid.  Additional meetings of industry staff on May 19-20 are planned to make further progress on a standards agreement.

“A smart electricity grid will revolutionize the way we use energy, but we need standards in place to ensure that all this new technology is compatible and operating at the highest cybersecurity standards to protect the smart grid from hackers and natural disasters,” Locke said. “The Recovery Act will fund the development of those standards so the exciting technology can finally take off.”

Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is responsible for assisting with the development of a framework for standards associated with Smart Grid systems and devices.  

As part of Vice President Biden’s announcement, the Department of Energy released a Notice of Intent (NOI) for the DOE Smart Grid Investment Grant Program, as well as a draft Funding Opportunity Announcement from the Department for a smart grid regional demonstration initiative. Together these efforts will help implement technologies aimed at transforming how electricity providers operate their systems, offer options for increased energy storage and accelerate the integration of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power with the electrical grid.

“A modernized electrical grid will provide the necessary tools for system operators to analyze and resolve problems quickly,” Chu said. “It will also expedite how we deliver renewable power to consumers, thus reducing the environmental impacts of generating electricity.”

These investments will help implement the necessary digital upgrades in the home and on the electric grid, enabling it to be more efficient, resilient, and secure.  They will also help make the grid capable to effectively integrate renewable supplies, plug in electric and hybrid vehicles, and energy management technologies, ultimately reducing energy infrastructure requirements and our dependence on foreign oil.

Vice President Biden is an animated public speaker.

At the conclusion
of his remarks the Vice President greets Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Congressman Ike Skelton (D).

Speaking with the audience on the “rope line”.

Employees, guests, and the media exit the building after the Vice President’s motorcade has departed the area.

If the wind doesn’t shift and the creek don’t rise the transcription elves at Show Me Progress corporate headquarters might make an attempt to post a transcript of the speech(es) before the contents therein lose their shelf life. You’ll know if and when we post ’em.