Startups’ Promising Results Energize IlluminationLAB Demo Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and other utilities will hear the results of intensive 10-week real-world product trials today from six startup companies during IlluminationLAB Demo Day.

The IlluminationLAB is a collaborative demonstrations program of EPRI, AEP and other utilities that explores and provides objective technical assessments of how disruptive new technologies can be demonstrated and applied in today’s rapidly changing energy system.

Ario®, eIQ Mobility, LiveEO, FreeWire Technologies, Hyperion, and Sterblue in May were selected to demonstrate their utility-related technologies in customer experience, electric grid optimization, operations and maintenance efficiency, data analytics, and electric mobility.

The startups were selected from a field of 132 applicants. They were then paired with EPRI and AEP to test their products under “real world” conditions in power plants and other utility operating environments, prove their benefits, develop deployment strategies, and assess customer demand.

“The pace of innovation in the electric sector has increased dramatically over the last decade,” said Arshad Mansoor, EPRI senior vice president of research & development. “By aligning on common innovation challenges and leveraging peer resources, we lower the cost, risk and time required to identify and test innovations.”

Among the pilot results being presented is Ario’s use of augmented reality to enhance workforce productivity, safety and efficiency. The trial included equipping power plant workers with devices that enable visual training, operations, maintenance and troubleshooting activities at workplace sites and on machines and equipment.    

The product trial with eIQ Mobility explored the electrification of large commercial vehicle fleets using advanced analytics to help companies determine when and where to deploy electric vehicles. AEP evaluated its own fleet using the tool and is evaluating fleet electrification opportunities, load implications and viability of a customer fleet deployment plan.

“Technology is playing a larger role in how we live, and the electric power industry is no exception. Technologies such as augmented reality tools, artificial intelligence and advanced sensors will transform how we work and the services we provide to customers,” said Ram Sastry, AEP vice president, innovation and technology. “We are looking for areas in which we can move quickly. The IlluminationLAB approach has equipped us to test these tools in the real- world and develop plans to quickly get them into the field.”

The IlluminationLAB includes AEP, EPRI, Ameren, Consolidated Edison, the Nebraska Public Power District, New York Power Authority, Salt River Project, Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Through EPRI’s Incubatenergy® program, AEP and the participating IlluminationLAB utilities are developing for next steps to expand the innovation challenge program.

About EPRI

The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI members represent 90% of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States with international participation extending to 40 countries. EPRI’s principal offices and laboratories are in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Dallas, Texas; Lenox, Mass.; and Washington, D.C.

About AEP:

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 18,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including nearly 5,300 megawatts of renewable generation. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.

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