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USTDA advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.

Since FY 2008, USTDA has invested in over 50 Electricity Transmission & Distribution projects and activities. The following is an illustrative list of USTDA-supported projects:

Trade Talk: Smart Grid

On February 28, 2014, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency hosted "Trade Talk: Smart Grid," the first in a series of sector-specific Trade Talks at USTDA's headquarters in Arlington, VA. Over 150 participants attended in person or via webinar to learn more about USTDA's efforts to support grid modernization efforts in developing and middle-income countries. U.S. industry representatives shared firsthand experience of working with USTDA and other government agencies to secure sales in emerging markets, including China, India, Turkey, Mexico and Colombia. The following is a list of key issues and recommendations given during the final panel of the event, "Next Steps & Ideas on Further U.S. Government Support for the U.S. Smart Grid Industry." Learn More | Audio & Presentations

Vietnam National Power Transmission Information Technology Roadmap

USTDA sponsored a visit to the United States for senior officials from the Vietnam National Power Transmission Corporation (NPT) to connect them with U.S. electric power transmission technology providers. Having identified $5 billion worth of upgrades and investments that are needed for their network, NPT delegates had the opportunity to visit U.S. power transmission companies and equipment manufacturers as well as meet with consulting companies that could assist with service capabilities and construction management. Shortly after the RTM, NPT and GE signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on a pilot to install GE's relay system on NPT's network. Thus far, NPT has purchased $11 million worth of GE equipment, and NPT and GE are currently working with the U.S. Export-Import Bank to purchase additional equipment valued at $36 million.

eThekwini Smart Metering Feasibility Study in South Africa

In order to address concerns over South Africa's declining electricity reserve margin, USTDA awarded a grant to eThekwini Municipality to support the rollout of advanced electricity metering, or smart meters. USTDA's assistance promotes the application of innovative U.S. technologies that will enable South African electricity distributors to integrate energy-intensive users into a smart metering system.

Demand Response System Pilot Project in China

In support of the U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program's efforts to open China's market to U.S.-manufactured technologies as the country continues to develop its energy infrastructure, USTDA funded a feasibility study and pilot project on the implementation of a smart grid demand response management system for the China State Grid Electric Power Research Institute (SGEPRI). U.S. companies provided the equipment for the pilot, and the results will assist SGEPRI in designing a national smart grid implementation strategy.

CESC Smart Grid Feasibility Study in India

USTDA is funding a feasibility study grant to CESC Ltd. for the implementation of smart grid technologies and practices across their electricity supply and distribution network in Kolkata, India. The study would develop requirements and specifications for a smart grid implementation roadmap for CESC and would address a range of improvements, including integrating smart meters and automated meter reading into CESC's distribution system.

Eastern Transmission Line Feasibility Study in Ghana

USTDA is funding a feasibility study to assist the Ghana Grid Company Limited, a state-owned power transmission company, in determining the technical and economic viability of reinforcing Ghana's electricity transmission network with new power transmission lines. The new lines would makes the electrification of unserved rural communities more affordable and accessible in the northern and eastern regions of Ghana.

Smart Grid Applications in Power Distribution in Turkey

USTDA is providing funding for a feasibility study that will introduce upgraded control systems and smart grid technology to the Başkent Elektrik Company in Turkey. The study will include a gap analysis, strategy proposal, estimate of investment requirements, and system integration recommendations for this newly privatized company.

Smart Grid Regulatory Framework Project in Mexico

USTDA is providing a grant to the Comisión Reguladora de Energía to provide technical assistance that will outline the key components of a regulatory framework to support smart grid deployment in Mexico.