Augmented reality devices could help train and assist utility workers, but more study is needed around safety and performance issues.
Indiana startup Go Electric once focused on developing microgrids for the U.S. military but now is betting on mass producing microgrids for private companies.
An Australian blockchain firm and Chicago startup partner on a project involving Northwestern University buildings.
Brian Dixon, chief operating officer of Capital Innovators in St. Louis, Missouri, talks with Midwest Energy News about his company’s partnership with Ameren on an energy tech accelerator. Utilities are not generally known for innovation. Most have been sheltered from direct competition and held to just a basic customer expectation: keep the lights on. Things are, of course, changing.
Ameren is testing utility pole sensors that could alert it to maintenance issues and maybe someday play a bigger role in managing the electric grid. The wooden utility pole has changed little since it was first used in the mid-19th Century to string telegraph line between cities. At a test site in Champaign, Illinois, though, researchers are getting a glimpse at how the humble utility pole could get a reboot for the smart grid era. Ameren is piloting sensors that connect transmission poles to the internet as part of its newly built microgrid project. The immediate aim is to trim maintenance costs and shorten response times for repairs, but it’s possible smart poles could someday help integrate distributed generation on the grid.