American Electric Power has awarded a contract to Vencore, Inc., a private defense contractor based in Virginia, to pilot a continuous monitoring service of the utility’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
As reported by OhioBids.com, under the contract, Vencore’s research arm Vencore Labs will deliver its ground-breaking SecureSmart solution, a patented infrastructure monitoring technology for smart grid field networks in two operating companies within AEP.
SecureSmart will provide a cost-effective monitoring and analysis solution for AEP's wireless field networks, increasing visibility into system operation and improving the ability to react more quickly to maintain and protect its AMI and distribution automation (DA) systems.
AEP is the first in the industry to explore SecureSmart as a monitoring solution across multiple AMI and DA systems from different vendors. SecureSmart will help to more efficiently investigate and diagnose recurring system operation issues using the product's ground truth sensor-based architecture and its comprehensive suite of applications.
SecureSmart is an integrated cybersecurity, operations and engineering solution for AMI, Distribution Automation (DA) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.
SecureSmart is the industry's only wireless network intrusion detection system that provides real-time network health, anomaly detection, threat analysis and visualization.
AEP’s New Smart Meter Roll-out
AEP Ohio is commencing a new smart meter roll-out for 900,000 customers in the region north of Columbus, Ohio, including Delaware, Ohio. The rollout is slated to commence Aug. 21. The smart meter installations will first move through the central Ohio area and continue throughout AEP Ohio’s service territory until completion in February 2021.
AEP has promoted for its customers the fact that smart meters are a proven technology, and emphasizes benefits enjoyed by other AEP Ohio customers starting with prior installations, including one in 2009, when 132,000 AEP Ohio customers received smart meters as part of the company’s gridSMART demonstration project. That project’s success led the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to approve AEP Ohio’s new program, to install smart meters across its service territory.
Benefits emphasized for these smart meters include capabilities, during a storm, for AEP Ohio to ping customers’ meter to show if they still have power—helping determine where the outage issue may be centralized, leading to a faster restoration time.
Smart meters will also send AEP customers electric usage data to AEP Ohio throughout the day—eliminating the need for AEP to access their property for meter reading and simplifying the billing process by doing away with estimated bills.
AEP also emphasizes how the project enables new features and technology that will help customers manage their energy usage from a smart phone, tablet or laptop.
“AEP Ohio is working hard to bring the best technology to our customers,” said Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “Installing smart meters will allow us to continue our commitment to delivering reliable service, while providing our customers more information to better manage their energy usage and save money – without sacrificing comfort.”
Customers receiving a smart meter will be notified by mail and phone approximately 10 days in advance of the meter exchange. The installation process is simple and quick, with a brief power disruption of only a few minutes. AEP Ohio is asking customers to ensure there is a clear path to their meter and that pets are secured on the day of installation.
Smart meter installation locations for the project were selected in a way to maximize customer benefits. Most customers in the following communities are slated for installation in 2017. AEP Ohio hopes to offer all customers a smart meter through another future installation phase.