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Reinventing the power grid

February 1, 2010

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Power distribution companies in Massachusetts have proposed smart-grid pilot programs covering nearly 20,000 customers. The price: about $80 million. State regulators must approve or reject the plans by August.

NATIONAL GRID Cost: $57 million

Pilot area: Worcester

Customers: 15,000

NSTAR Cost: $15 million

Pilot areas: the Back Bay neighborhood in Boston, plus Hopkinton and Newton

Customers: 3,000

WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS ELECTRIC CO. Cost: $7 million

Pilot area: Springfield

Customers: 1,750

UNITIL Cost: $300,000

Pilot areas: Fitchburg and parts of New Hampshire

Customers: 96 in Massachusetts

SOURCE: Department of Public Utilities