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Obama putting $3.4B toward a 'smart' power grid

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is giving a jolt to the futuristic "smart" electric grid, hoping to bring America's power transmission system into the digital age more quickly.

Obama is set to visit a solar energy facility Tuesday in Arcadia, Fla. He is expected to announce that he is making available $3.4 billion in government support for 100 projects aimed at modernizing the power grid.

The projects include installing "smart" electric meters in homes, automating utility substations and installing thousands of new digital transformers and grid sensors.

Officials have argued that a more modern grid is needed to give consumers better control over their electricity usage and costs, and to spur development of renewable energy sources.

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