Project 1: Creating a Smarter Grid
So much of our daily life, at home and work, revolves around a wall outlet. Technology is evolving at a fast and furious pace. We don’t know what’s coming, but we do know that the next generation of energy efficiency, safety, and reliability standards and measures will require robust, two-way communications across the electric grid.
Our national electric infrastructure is an engineering marvel – truly a “smart grid.” In 2013, Team Midwest committed to making our own distribution infrastructure even smarter with the implementation of a fiber-based communication system to power utility solutions into the future. This investment gives us access to information and data that will help us see and address problems and opportunities in real time, and positions us to be ready for whatever technology brings your way.
Project 2: The Rural Broadband Revolution
For many years, Midwest members looked to us to bring a high-speed solution to the rural space, and we attempted to meet that need for over a decade with limited success. With the necessary upgrades to the electric distribution grid described above, we recognized the opportunity to leverage that investment and bring the ultimate broadband internet solution to our membership. In 2014, the Midwest board directed leadership to fully deploy a fiber internet solution in five years across the southwest Michigan service area. We’re changing the landscape, providing previously unknown opportunities for homes and businesses, while creating an environment in which communities can grow and thrive from an economic development perspective.
Two very unique projects on parallel paths, both of which set us up as the Utility of the Future. When you combine a smart utility grid with what is commonly referred to as the Internet of Things, life as we know it changes. From the utility perspective, we gain access to information and data that will allow us to serve you more efficiently and effectively. And from the consumer perspective, you have an improved experience with your utility, and access to a whole new world of advanced home technologies – products and services that will save energy and make life more convenient than ever before.