Duke Energy plans on bringing the smartest thing to Indiana since Keith. It’s a “smart” power grid that lets customers keep daily tabs on energy usage and tips Duke off when power outages occur. The grid upgrade will cost the company — and in turn, possibly customers, although Duke is applying for federal stimulus funds that would fund the project — $445 million and more than five years to roll out. Hey, nobody said the future would be cheap or come quickly.
The Business Courier of Cincinnati breaks down the benefits:
ï The ability of consumers to track their energy usage daily and use “smart” appliances as they come on the market. Eventually, consumers would be able to monitor and manage their energy use online, and use other cost- and energy-saving programs.
ï A communications system that would allow Duke to detect trouble on power lines before outages develop and move to prevent them.
ï Smart meters that reduce the expense of on-site reading, and provide more information to the company. Duke hopes to install 800,000 meters throughout its 69-county service area.
ï Other technology to automate the power delivery system and increase its reliability.
That “other technology” thing is what has us intrigued. Like a little mystery prize in a cereal box.