The Department of Energy will give $100 million in grants to fund 54 smart grid workforce training programs. Ideally, 30,000 Americans will receive training to implement the smart grid programs that were funded by the DOE and private investors last year.

The programs run the gamut of smart grid activities, ranging from classes for electricians and line workers to security specialists. Some programs will specifically target veterans and displaced workers. Some grants go straight to schools, while others will go to Native American Indian corporations and others still will go to private organizations. A full list of recipients can be found here.

Pepco Holdings will get $4.3 million, for example, to implement smart grid projects and train workers to explain energy strategies to consumers.

Unlike many of the technology grants already issued by the DOE, the grants are not concentrated heavily onto one or two recipients. The grants are fairly well distributed across the country and generally range in value from under $100,000 to a little above $4 million.

"The Alliance believes workforce education is a critical issue in implementing smart grid. We have our own Education and Workforce Work Group to address some of these issues and look forward to cooperating with these award winners to ensure that our public policy reflects the need to train and educate our utility workforce around smart grid," wrote Katherine Hamilton of the GridWise Alliance.