RALEIGH, N.C. – (NYSE: PGN) wants $200 million from the federal government to help create a so-called “smart grid” in the Carolinas and Georgia.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and , a global information technology solutions and business information services provider, are working with Progress on the project.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has applied for a similar grant to help fund a $1 billion smart grid project in the Midwest covering parts of Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

The government is making $4.5 billion in smart grants available across the country through the Department of Energy.

A smart grid would use digital metering and other new technology to improve distribution and help customers better monitor power usage.

"Smart Grid will enable us to enhance and improve service to our customers," said Bill Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Progress Energy. "It will allow our customers ultimately to have more direct control of their energy use and their bill through pricing signals and pre-pay options. Leveraging this technology, Progress Energy will partner with our customers to help them manage their usage based on personal preferences and household needs. The end result will be improved system efficiencies, energy conservation and a cleaner environment."

Progress noted that it already has a $320 million smart grid project underway.