A long-time Chicago manufacturer doing "renewable energy" systems ...

WPCE13-05One of the main things that we were looking for at the WINDPOWER show was stories of Chicago companies that were working in the renewable energy field. Among the companies that we were introduced to, was S&C Electric Company, a long-time Chicago manufacturer that’s been producing switching and protection products for electric power transmission and distribution since 1911.

Electric utilities are increasingly tasked with meeting Renewable Portfolio Standards, and are looking to generate power from wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass sources. But integrating the power from such renewable sources into the grid can be a daunting challenge. … Through our 100 years of experience in the design and manufacture of high-voltage electrical equipment, S&C has developed a deep expertise in electric power systems. We deliver high-quality products and services that stand the test of time.

We had a chance to interview David B. Chiesa from the company, and see what role they play in renewable energy:

Development of renewable energy resources in the U.S., and in particular wind power, has boomed in the past few years, thanks to federal renewable energy tax credits and cheaper and more efficient renewable installations. In 2011, for the first time ever, global investments in renewable energy even surpassed investments in fossil fuels. … Compared to other resources, renewable generation can be deployed over wide geographical areas, ranging from large-scale farms to small-scale units at customers’ premises. Renewable resources also play an important role in achieving energy independence and ensuring a diverse, stable fuel supply. … Energy storage holds big promise as a solution to mitigate the impact of renewable energy resources on the grid while ensuring clean, stored energy can meet demand when renewable energy generation is low.

By the way, I checked over on their web site, and S&C is hiring for dozens of positions at their Chicago headquarters (although most of those were for engineers). It’s certainly interesting to see how an “old-school” manufacturer like them has been able to keep current, and become a significant player in the new renewable energy wave.

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