Electric Utility Challenge Moves Closer to Making a Safer Underground Cable Network
Duquesne Light Company (DLC) partners with Exelon to select final two solutions to move forward in DLC’s public innovation challenge
April 11, 2023
PITTSBURGH — Duquesne Light Company (DLC) announced that it has partnered with Exelon (Nasdaq: EXC) and selected the final two solutions in DLC’s public crowdsourcing innovation challenge — “Monitoring Electrical Cable Challenge: The Future of Underground Inspection” — which focuses on creating a safer and more reliable underground electric network. Following several months of testing and evaluation, DLC and Exelon chose the final two candidates based on their ability to meet both utilities’ safety, operational and cost requirements. The winning solution is expected to strengthen the underground electrical grid and improve worker and public safety in DLC’s service territory across southwestern Pennsylvania.
The two finalists will now move into the third and final round of the challenge where they will test their prototypes through a pilot deployment on a utility network. The pilot projects are expected to be judged this fall, with the winning solution being announced in November.
“DLC is committed to investing in innovation and bringing in new, diverse methods to solve various challenges that face our industry,” said Brian Guzek, vice president of corporate strategy at DLC.
“In partnering with other electric utilities during this challenge, we have found solutions that can have a significant and positive impact on our operations as well as worker and public safety. The collaboration and expertise from Exelon and its business units across the country have been outstanding and incredibly valuable throughout this process. We’re thrilled to see what the final phase of testing brings and look forward to announcing the winning solution later this year,” Guzek added.
Chris Burton, Exelon’s vice president of special projects, shared, “Exelon’s utilities derived great value from engaging in this unique innovation challenge. Our collaboration with Duquesne Light Company has enabled sharing perspectives on emerging solutions to our operational challenges. Monitoring our underground infrastructure with new innovative technologies will help us deliver better reliability and affordability to our customers.”
DLC launched the challenge in December 2021 through crowdsourcing platform HeroX. With a total prize of $750,000, the challenge attracted submissions from entrepreneurs, scientists, researchers and students from around the world.
Exelon (Nasdaq: EXC) is a Fortune 200 company and the nation’s largest energy delivery company, serving more than 10 million customers through six fully regulated transmission and distribution utilities — Atlantic City Electric (ACE), Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), Delmarva Power & Light (DPL), PECO Energy Company (PECO) and Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco). More than 18,000 Exelon employees dedicate their time and expertise to powering a cleaner and brighter future for our customers and communities through reliable, affordable and efficient energy delivery, workforce development, equity, economic development and volunteerism. Follow Exelon on Twitter @Exelon.