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Recent economic stimulus legislation has allocated approximately $4.5 billion to Smart Grid technology and $11 billion for transmission lines. Organizations that implement Smart Grid technologies can receive a credit of up to 50 percent of the cost. Smart Grid technology involves a feedback driven control system operating between multiple networks, multiple power generators and consumers to monitor power usage to create more efficient use of demand response to loads on the system.

Bracewell's experienced team of telecommunications attorneys assist with licensing and transactional matters involving communications systems essential to the development and operation of Smart Grid networks. Our team has experience in federal regulation of wireline and wireless technologies, including cable, telecommunications and fiber optic infrastructure. Our team has also worked in cooperation with electric utility trade associations, including the Edison Electric Institute and the Utilities Telecom Council to shape aspects of the FCC's National Broadband Plan impacting Smart Grid deployment.

The firm has experience at the state and federal level of regulation for Smart Grid development and use. At the state and federal level, our attorneys have counseled transmission entities, especially with respect to compliance with reliability standards. At the state level, Bracewell has worked with utilities in seeking authorization for advanced metering system deployment plans as well as securing authorization for rate surcharges to support those plans. Our attorneys also have the ability to assist utilities in securing authorization for energy efficiency research and development surcharges, which in turn would allow utilities to deploy advanced technology to hard-to-reach residential customers. The firm also assists clients in securing Smart Grid stimulus funds as they become available.