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Triangle pursues 'smart grid' money

RALEIGH -- The $4.5 billion-plus in the federal stimulus plan for modernizing the nation's electrical distribution system was like a high-amp jolt for researchers, consultants, manufacturers and utilities who have made the Triangle a center for developing a "smart grid."

Now they're scrambling to figure out how to persuade Washington to send some of the money this way.

"This is a big chance to do more things than we thought we could do, a chance to really broaden our research," Terri Lomax, a vice chancellor at N.C. State University, said via cell phone this week as she walked the halls of a U.S. House of Representatives office building. Lomax was in Washington meeting with lawmakers and officials in a hunt for stimulus money for the university.

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