A Smarter Power Grid for U.S. Utilities

U.S. utilities are starting to invest in a smarter grid
Photograph by Steve Hockstein/Bloomberg

On a recent muggy morning, Jeff Myerson, director of business transformation for Houston-based utility CenterPoint Energy, is pointing to mundane-looking gray metal boxes high on a wooden utility pole. They mask state-of-the-art wireless relays that collect data on customers’ power use every 15 minutes. Myerson is showing a visitor around Braeswood, a tree-lined neighborhood of several hundred 1950s-era ranch homes about 7 miles southwest of downtown. It’s being refitted for CenterPoint’s “intelligent grid.” This first phase is scheduled to be completed by yearend at a cost of $138 million, with the help of $50 million from the federal government.

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