CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has signed the agreement to formalize the $204 million in economic stimulus funds for “smart grid” technology it will receive from the federal government, the power provider said Thursday.

Duke said it will use the funds from the Department of Energy to modernize its power distribution system and install digital equipment on the transmission system in the Carolinas. It said the funding will save or create about 1,000 jobs in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and the Carolinas.

“Yes, the agreement we finalized this week is for the funds that the Department of Energy ,” Duke spokesperson Paige Layne told LTW and WRAL.com.

“It is our intent to use the funds for deployment efforts across the five states over the next three years,” she added. “Of course, we’ll need to work through the regulatory process in the Carolinas to finalize specific deployment plans.”

Duke committed $851.7 million and will receive $200 million federal dollars for its grid modernization and smart metering project in its Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky service areas. Smart meters are to be placed with 1.4 million customers.

In a second project, Duke will invested $7.9 million and the government is providing $3.9 million to upgrade substations and communications in North Carolina.

The grant is part of $3.4 billion in government support for 100 projects announced in October.

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