Steve Mitnick is President of Lines Up, Inc., Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly, and author of “Lines Down: How We Pay, Use, Value Grid Electricity Amid the Storm.”
Earlier this summer, Public Utilities Fortnightly announced a special feature and competition. We asked for nominations from around the country, throughout our industry, for the smartest utility projects. Here we acknowledge nominations for the Fortnightly Smartest Utility Projects 2020.
All the projects are meaningful and important to the industry. They show the inventiveness and ingenuity of great minds at work. In the end, these projects show how technology and great planning are moving us forward. Kudos to all.
Sauk City, Wisconsin Microgrid Pilot Project
A new system that replaced an overhead line, this microgrid provides power for lighting and a water pump at a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources building and cabin. With a small solar array and an affiliated battery to store the renewable power, this microgrid includes a six-kilowatt solar generation system, a forty-two-kilowatt-hour battery, a charge controller, inverter and cellular communications.
Wellman, Iowa Battery Project
Providing energy to power six hundred and fifty homes for four hours, Alliant Energy's first utility-scale battery storage system works as a buffer to level out power fluctuations caused by changes in the sun's intensity.