Smart Grid

The smart grid is a suite of customer programs and advanced technology initiatives that will transport us into a new era of energy delivery and customer service. Electric vehicles, smart appliances, energy storage and distributed solar generation are among the technologies being adapted and incorporated into our current infrastructure. This evolution of technology has occurred in every industry; the electric industry is no exception.

The new technologies can help improve efficiency, identify and respond to outages more quickly, and better monitor and control operation of the distribution system. It can also provide customers with new and innovative programs and pricing options that allow them to monitor and control their own energy use, saving resources and money. Additionally, the way our nation generates electricity is changing rapidly. Deployment of smart grid technology and transmission expansion may help us to address changes in generating capacity.

gridSMART® projects in progress

  • AEP Ohio’s first phase of its gridSMART® demonstration project deployed a comprehensive suite of innovative smart grid technologies on 70 circuits serving 132,000 customers in Central Ohio. The $150 million project was funded through a $75 million federal grant, cost recovery support from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and in-kind vendor contributions. AEP Ohio has proposed to extend gridSMART® with a Phase 2 deployment that will include Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) for approximately 894,000 customers, Distribution Automation Circuit Reconfiguration (DACR) for about 250 priority circuits, and VVO for roughly 80 circuits. The company is proposing to recover the $295 million project cost over five years.
  • AEP Texas has completed installation of a 1 million meter smart grid network. Cost of the $308 million project is being recovered through an approved 11-year regulatory surcharge. The company is also deploying DACR on 15 circuits.
  • Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) has deployed a smart grid network to about 10,000 customers. The $7 million project was funded through a settlement agreement approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. I&M has installed VVO on nine circuits and received approval for its use as an energy efficiency program through filings in Indiana and Michigan. I&M is upgrading DACR on 11 circuits and installing it on 11 additional circuits.
  • Public Service Company of Oklahoma’s (PSO) initial gridSMART® project included approximately 31,000 customers with AMI, 14,000 of whom are served on 13 circuits equipped with advanced grid management technologies, such as VVO and DACR. The project was financed through an $8.75 million American Reinvestment and Recovery Act low-interest loan from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, along with $2 million in annual revenues approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. In January 2014, the OCC approved PSO’s application to broaden its AMI deployment to cover its entire 30,000- square-mile service territory. This will include its remaining 520,000 customers, with deployment over three years. The timing for the completion of this $135 million project could change pending the regulatory review process.
  • Kentucky Power Company is deploying advanced grid technology on approximately 30 circuits. The company is also installing distribution Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) on these circuits to provide greater visibility for dispatchers and to allow for the remote control of equipment. The existing technology investment is expected to be recovered in customer rates.
  • Appalachian Power Company (APCo) has installed three circuits with DACR and is installing the technology on four more circuits. APCo is also upgrading some circuits with SCADA. APCo was the first utility in North America to deploy a 1-megawatt-scale sodium sulfur (NaS) battery at its Chemical Station in Charleston, W.Va., and has since deployed another 2-MW battery at Balls Gap Station near Milton, W.Va.
  • Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCo) has DACR technology on two circuits, is upgrading the technology on 14 circuits, and installing the technology on an additional three circuits.

AEP Position

Smart grid programs can improve service quality and reliability, lower energy consumption, and offer additional customer benefits.

AEP is deploying smart grid technologies in several states, with regulatory support.