11/24/2009
AEP Ohio Receives Federal Funding to Initiate gridSMART Project

COLUMBUS, Ohio – AEP Ohio, an operating unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), has been awarded $75 million in federal stimulus funds to support the AEP Ohio gridSMARTSM Demonstration Project. Designed to provide greater energy control for customers through enhanced usage information and improve electricity distribution efficiency and reliability, the project will cut energy consumption and emissions.

The award was announced today by Energy Secretary Steven Chu at AEP’s Dolan Technology Center in Groveport. Secretary Chu was at Dolan to announce demonstration funding related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He was joined by Michael G. Morris, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, and U.S. Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy.


AEP Ohio’s $150 million project will be deployed in northeast central Ohio starting in December and will include installation of approximately 110,000 advanced electricity meters, new distribution grid technology, distributed energy sources, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, smart appliances, and consumer systems and products to help customers manage electricity use and costs. These elements are designed to demonstrate the full benefits of installing a comprehensive distribution smart grid for consumers and the utility.

"We are pleased the DOE found that our project aligns with its goal to demonstrate how smart grid technology can enhance the safety, reliability and efficiency of energy delivery on a regional level," said Joe Hamrock, president and chief operating officer for AEP Ohio. "It is an exciting and innovative endeavor we will be undertaking. Not only will this project help us reduce the power that we need to generate, cut emissions and also delay the need to build generation, more importantly, it will give customers the tools and information they need to make choices to use electricity more efficiently."

The project includes AEP Ohio customers in a 150-square-mile area representing urban and rural central Ohio communities, including parts of Columbus, Gahanna, New Albany, Bexley, Whitehall, Reynoldsburg, Westerville, Blacklick, Johnstown, Alexandria, Minerva Park and Pataskala. Within the project area, AEP Ohio intends to build a secure, integrated smart grid system that will improve efficiency and reliability, potentially reducing energy consumption by 18,000 megawatt-hours (MWH) and peak demand by 15 megawatts (MW) over a three-year period. These demand and energy reductions represent the energy needed to power 1,800 homes and show how smart grid technologies can help better manage the dispatching of existing generation today and the construction of new generation in the future.

AEP Ohio will work with a team of industry leaders throughout this project, including Battelle; General Electric; Silver Spring Networks; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a federally funded research and development center managed by Battelle; Lockheed Martin; and S&C Electric. The company also will work with regulatory and stakeholder collaborators, including the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), the Ohio Consumers Counsel, PJM, and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

In March 2009, the PUCO authorized AEP Ohio to spend $54.5 million toward the company’s gridSMART plan and to seek federal funds to help support gridSMART deployment. AEP Ohio applied Aug. 26 for funding from the DOE Program Area of Interest 1: Regional Demonstrations. The remaining project funding will be covered by contributions from corporate team members.

AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power Company and Ohio Power Company in Ohio, and Wheeling Power Company in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power.

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as 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 and north Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

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