Utilidata, an industry leading grid-edge technology company, announced today a manufacturing partnership with Michigan-based Brooks Utility Products, a manufacturer of electric metering related products for over 150 years, to establish domestic manufacturing for its NVIDIA-powered smart grid chips in the heartland of the United States. Utilidata is also opening its innovation lab where research and development for its smart grid chips will take place.
The partnership with Michigan-based Brooks Utility Products, will bring the product to full commercialization in 2023 with assembly, testing, and use of their meter socket adapter. Commercial-scale production will begin this spring to meet utility customer demand. Current utility customers utilizing Utilidata’s smart grid chips include Portland General Electric and Lake Placid Municipal Power.
“Brooks is excited to work with Utilidata to bring new technology and innovation to the electric utility market,” said Robert Kiessling, Brooks Utility Products national marketing manager. “The grid needs technologies like the smart grid chip to become cleaner, more resilient, and decentralized. Coupling Utilidata’s innovative platform and smart chip technology with Brooks’ focus on safe and reliable products provides the optimal solution for a dynamically changing electrical grid.”
Utilidata’s innovation lab is located in the Northern Brewery building in Ann Arbor, and serves as the company’s center of excellence for rapid prototyping and design. The facility is intended to build upon the company’s work with Ann Arbor-based Endectra, a University of Michigan spinout that prototyped the first several generations of the smart grid chip product. Utilidata will harness the talent from the University of Michigan and other local institutions as it begins to recruit for several immediate high-tech engineering jobs at its lab in Ann Arbor.
“One of the biggest challenges electric utilities face is managing the rapid adoption of electric transportation, so there is no better place to be innovating than in Michigan at the intersection of the electric transportation, manufacturing, and clean energy industries,” said Josh Brumberger, Utilidata CEO. “The State of Michigan’s recent investments in technology innovation and workforce development combined with the research and talent of the University of Michigan and other local institutions made Ann Arbor a clear choice.”
Utilidata’s smart grid chip is a distributed artificial intelligence (AI) platform that enhances resiliency of the electric grid, integrates distributed energy resources (DERs) — including solar, storage, and electric vehicles (EVs) — and accelerates the transition to a decarbonized grid. The platform, which is powered by NVIDIA’s accelerated computing and AI technology, collects and analyzes large amounts of granular data at the edge of the grid to provide utility distribution companies with enhanced visibility to seamlessly integrate more clean energy while also reducing power outages and enabling quicker storm recovery.
About Brooks Utility Products
Brooks Utility Products innovates, manufactures and supplies complete lines of metering related products for the utility industry. Brooks Utility Products, is the consolidated brand of E.J. Brooks Company, Meter Devices Co., and Ekstrom Industries. The company traces its beginnings to the founding of E.J. Brooks Company in 1873 as a lead toy manufacturer that quickly evolved into a lead wire seal manufacturer serving to secure the growing railcar and electric meter security markets. In addition to its 140 year history in meter seals and revenue protection Brooks has nearly 100 years of experience in producing test switches, enclosures, adapters, and utility test equipment through its Meter Devices and Ekstrom Industries brands.
Utilidata is a technology company bringing distributed artificial intelligence (AI) to the edge of the electric grid to accelerate decarbonization and better serve utility customers. The company’s smart grid chip, powered by NVIDIA, is the utility industry’s first scalable distributed AI solution, and provides an open, scalable and future-proof platform for grid operations. For more information, visit utilidata.com.