• On August 9, 2012, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that rural electric utilities in 18 states will receive loan guarantees to make improvements to electric lines and transmission facilities and to reduce peak electric loads by deploying smart grid technologies. The USDA states that “maintaining and upgrading rural electric systems improves system reliability, creates jobs and supports economic development. With these loans, we are continuing to help cooperatives provide reliable service to rural residents. A significant portion of this funding will go to smart grid technologies, helping consumers lower their electric bills and reducing peak demand for producers.” With this funding, USDA Rural Development moves closer to reaching Secretary Tom Vilsack’s goal of providing more than $250 million for smart grid technologies. More information regarding the announcement is available here.
  • Comments on the FCC Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding medical body area networks (MBANs), and specifically the proposed procedures to pick an entity to coordinate MBAN use, are due September10, 2012, and Reply Comments are due September 28, 2012. ET Dockets No. 08-59 and 12-54. The FNPRM, which was combined with a First Report and Order, is available here.