Gridmetrics' Scott Caruso explains how the CableLabs subsidiary is using hundreds of thousands of node-based sensors to create a unique, hyperlocal view of the status of the power grid and how that data is being put to use.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

March 6, 2024

At a Glance

  • Caruso discusses the origins of Gridmetrics and an overview of its power monitoring platform (00:45)
  • How broadband networks provide a unique view of the status of the power grid (2:30)
  • A review of use cases and industry support for Gridmetrics' platform (19:30)

The hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network is comprised of hundreds of thousands of nodes equipped with power supplies and integrated cable modems. Thanks to its distributed architecture, cable operators have a unique neighborhood-level view of the devices that are powering the network's last mile.

That setup also gives operators a high-level, consistent view of the status of the power network – a view that tends to be better than what the power utilities themselves can see despite their expanded use of smart meters.

Gridmetrics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CableLabs, has turned that view (and the data behind it) into a set of products that can help entities such as public safety organizations, banks and insurance companies, and assisted living facilities get a heads-up on power outages and other power-related events that are deemed critical. Gridmetrics President Scott Caruso joins the podcast to discuss the company's power-monitoring platform.

Tracking power outages

With a network of more than 325,000 sensors that currently cover about 50% of the US population, Gridmetrics' platform offers an updated view of the power grid in five-minute intervals, down to a "projection plane" comprised of unique square kilometer units.

The platform can tell if the power state is nominal, if there's an outage or if the power grid is in a high- or low-voltage state. If there's an outage, the platform can also determine the ongoing size and scope of it.

Outside the granular, localized data it provides to customers, Gridmetrics has also set up a website that tracks US power outages. Additionally, this example shows how Gridmetrics' platform tracked power outages during the atmospheric river storms that soaked California in February.

Gridmetrics example of power outage tracking in California February 2024

Gridmetrics started as an incubation program at CableLabs. "This really all began as a hallway conversation about seven years ago," recalls Caruso, who also heads strategic ventures at Louisville, Colorado-based CableLabs.

Broadband operators, he explains, typically know where power is out before the utilities themselves know. "That just struck a chord with me," he says.

Here's a snapshot of our discussion (for a lightly edited transcript, click the player's closed captioning button):

  • Caruso explains the origins of Gridmetrics and gives an overview of its power monitoring platform (00:45)

  • How broadband networks provide a unique view of the status of the power grid (2:30)

  • How Gridmetrics deploys its platform and how it relays details about various types of power events (8:00)

  • How the company has turned its data into specific products such as the Power Event Notification System (PENS) and PENS Assets (10:30)

  • A review of Gridmetrics' current monitoring footprint and plans to expand it in partnership with CableLabs members and others (16:55)

  • A review of use cases and industry support for Gridmetrics' platform (19:30)

  • Why Gridmetrics' recent promotion to Silver Partner Status by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) is important (22:30)

  • How Gridmetrics is trying to gain traction in the market (24:30)

  • Gridmetrics' top priorities for 2024 (29:30)

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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