Pacific Northwest National Laboratory gets funding for "smart grid" research

RICHLAND — Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will receive $5.7 million more in federal economic stimulus money.

The money, which will be used on the Richland lab's work to analyze the effects of global climate change and to further develop "smart grid" technology, is in addition to $127 million already awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The money awarded Tuesday is "not only an immediate boost for a major employer in our state, it's also a down payment on our economic future," wrote Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., in a statement.

"The funding invested today in PNNL research will drive the clean energy jobs and opportunities our state must pursue to keep our economy growing," she said.

As a senior member of the Senate committee overseeing energy funding, she worked to ensure that investments in energy research and technology were included in the federal economic stimulus bill.

Most of the new PNNL money, $4.86 million, will be used to build a dedicated, high-performance computer for climate research. It will enable scientists to combine computer climate models with computer models of human factors -- such as economic data, energy production and consumption and land use.

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