T&D World Magazine

AEP Selects IBM as Systems Integrator for gridSMART Initiative

American Electric Power has selected IBM as the overall systems integrator for gridSMART, AEP's comprehensive suite of customer programs and advanced technology initiatives that create the energy delivery system of the future.

The gridSMART initiative includes customer programs, new energy delivery system technologies, local generation and storage devices, and additional efficiency enhancements.

The agreement will add IBM's broad capabilities in designing and implementing Intelligent Utility Networks to AEP's initiative.

IBM will provide AEP with support services across the program, including program management, business process design, systems planning, and system interfaces. The agreement also leverages IBM's unique capabilities in research, software and IT infrastructure, enabling AEP to take advantage of IBM's global investments in developing Intelligent Utility Network solutions.

AEP's gridSMART initiative is among the first in the industry to introduce intelligence across the entire transmission and distribution system. Among the benefits expected for customers are: fewer outages, improved service and reliability, and the ability to better manage their energy use. Benefits for AEP include: planning and operating its system more efficiently, increased service quality, proactive outage notification capabilities, and enabling future technology advancements as they develop.

IBM joins an AEP gridSMART team that will implement advanced customer service, energy delivery and metering technologies across the nation's largest electricity transmission system, and a distribution system that delivers electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states.

Initially, the gridSMART initiative will focus on four projects:

  • A pilot of advanced metering, distribution grid management, and energy efficiency technologies in South Bend, Ind., that as already begun.
  • Establishment of up to three model city demonstrations of approximately 100,000 customers each, where AEP can validate and refine its gridSMART vision.
  • Completion of a five-year Application Portfolio Roadmap that will outline how technology will transform AEP's future electricity distribution business.
  • Mobilization of several innovative customer service and energy conservation initiatives, including new online energy management tools.

Future phases of gridSMART will take AEP further towardsthe Intelligent Utility Network introducing additional enhancements to the network, including installation of smart meters for all AEP customers by 2015; development of fuel cells, large-scale batteries and other distributed energy technologies; and support for emerging electric hybrid vehicles.

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