In recognition of their distinguished leadership, innovation, and progress in advancing the electric power industry, eight U.S. and two international electric companies have been named as finalists for the Edison Electric Institute's (EEI's) 2016 Edison Award, the electric power industry's most prestigious honor.
A committee of energy trade publication editors has selected American Electric Power, Arizona Public Service Company, Edison International, The Empire District Electric Company, Green Mountain Power, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, Vermont Electric Power Company, and Xcel Energy as finalists for this year's U.S. Edison Award, while The AES Corporation and CESC Limited were named finalists for the International Edison Award.
"Our industry is in the midst of a profound transformation, and this year's Edison Award finalists demonstrate that innovative and groundbreaking projects are underway across the electric power industry," said EEI President Tom Kuhn. "These companies are delivering the energy future that customers want by building smarter energy infrastructure, providing clean energy, and creating innovative energy solutions."
The 89th annual Edison Award will be presented in June during the EEI Annual Convention in Chicago. A panel of former electric company chief executives will select the winning U.S. and international companies.
U.S. Edison Award Finalists:
American Electric Power (AEP) – AEP serves South Texas using two 345 kilovolt transmission lines. After the brutal winter of 2011, AEP focused on upgrading its transmission system. Given significant load growth, traditional construction methods were not an option. Using innovative technologies, AEP was able to upgrade the 240-mile system while the lines remained energized. The completion of this project helps to guarantee reliable electricity in South Texas for years to come.
Arizona Public Service Company (APS) – This APS project features a solar forecasting and visualization application that provides a system-wide geographic view of how distributed energy resources impact overall energy delivery. With an anticipated benefit of $4 million, this project represents the APS vision of technology innovation and advancement.
Edison International – This Southern California Edison pilot project uses clean, distributed energy resources to offset up to 300 MW of increasing customer demand for electricity in a densely populated metropolitan area. The project employs new resource portfolio planning, acquisition and measurement approaches, and seeks to demonstrate the performance capabilities of clean energy sources and technologies to meet customer reliability needs.
The Empire District Electric Company (EDE) – In order to comply with North American Electric Reliability Corporation regulations, increase efficiency, and reduce costs, EDE developed the Empire Pole Innovative Construction Platform. This platform incorporates an entirely new pole and transmission structure design, as well as a construction and implementation process. If adopted by companies industry-wide, this new design could significantly reduce costs.
Green Mountain Power (GMP) – GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. GMP is the first electric company in the world to receive a B Corp certification – committing to use business as a force for good while being held to rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards.
Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) – IPL has forged regional and national partnerships to design and execute solar-generation and battery storage projects at Indianapolis International Airport, Maywood Solar Farm and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. These projects are highly visible to the public, enhancing communication and education for customers while also providing major environmental benefits.
Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) – Driven by significant increases in the frequency, strength and cost of severe weather events and the expansion of distributed generation, VELCO partnered with IBM Research to develop the Vermont Weather Analytics Center (VTWAC). VTWAC links highly precise weather forecasting with customer load and solar and wind production data to generate breakthrough renewable generation forecasts that will increase energy grid reliability, lower weather event-related operational costs, and optimize integration of renewable energy resources.
Xcel Energy – Xcel Energy entered into a unique partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to implement its Transmission Wildfire Protection Program outside of Xcel Energy's permit areas. This project uses advanced processes to limit fire hazards near certain infrastructure by addressing fuel load (e.g., trees, brush, etc.) around transmission structures.
International Edison Award Finalists:
The AES Corporation (AES - Global) – AES introduced its Advancion® 4 energy storage technology in 2015, the next generation of battery-based energy storage designed to accelerate the growth of clean energy and provide the foundation for a stronger power grid.
CESC Limited (Kolkata - India) – In 2013, CESC Limited developed a virtual office with the goals of providing smarter, easier-to-use services, 24/7 accessibility across the distribution area, and eventually making as many services as possible available on digital platforms. The project has created a platform for preempting improvement opportunities to meet future customer demands.