Duke Energy, an electric utility for the Southeast and Midwest, has finalized an agreement with the Department of Energy (DOE) for $204 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to support smart grid projects in the company’s five-state service territory.

The DOE funds will support two projects: $200 million—the maximum allowed per project under the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program—will assist in modernizing Duke Energy’s power distribution system; and $4 million will support the installation of digital equipment on the transmission system in the Carolinas.

Duke Energy expects to save or create approximately 1,000 jobs as it modernizes its grid system in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and the Carolinas.

Duke Energy plans to spend $1 billion over the next five years to deploy smart grid technology in its service territory. Deployment includes digital and automated technology, such as smart meters, distribution automation equipment, and communications infrastructure.