Smart grid? How about smart wires?
Quick Take -- Tech blog GigaOm reports from last week's ARPA-E Summit of an Oakland, CA-based startupthat can make transmission wires smart. Smart Wire Grid sells a device that clamps onto transmission lines to control the flow of power (see photo below). Originally developed at Georgia Tech, the technology can monitor and even help redirect power flow. Once a problem has been studied at one location, the devices can be moved to other lines.
Skeptical? The idea has enough merit that Tennessee Valley Authority is piloting it and Southern Company is about to start tests. - Jesse Berst