American Electric Power and GE Energy, a business unit of General Electric, will pursue the development, integration and deployment of advanced energy delivery infrastructure and metering technologies in an agreement that will enhance the consumer’s ability to control and reduce electricity costs as well as improve the overall efficiency of electricity use.
The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding and are continuing discussions to reach a definitive agreement to develop technology platforms and programs that will transform how electricity is delivered to – and used by – consumers.
The AEP-GE initiative “is the first in the industry to address the full energy pathway from the power plant to the home,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.
AEP will deploy advanced metering and the enhanced infrastructure technology resulting from the partnership with GE in two regions – representing approximately 200,000 customers – by the end of 2008.
The advanced metering, combined with special rate plans, will allow customers to better understand their energy consumption and, by utilizing signals indicating time-of-day prices, reduce their electricity costs. AEP will select specific locations for this initial deployment after evaluating potential sites in its 11-state service area. Primary selection criteria will be urban/suburban areas with 50,000 to 100,000 customers.
AEP plans to have the advanced metering and enhanced infrastructure technologies in use to serve a million of its customers by the end of the decade and in use to serve its entire customer base of more than 5 million by the end 2015, pending appropriate regulatory approvals in the states where AEP operates.
AEP and GE plan to deploy advanced metering for use by customers, supported by enhancements to technologies on the energy delivery infrastructure. Expected enhancements include the automating of controls on electrical equipment; integration of existing decentralized distribution automation monitoring systems and supervisory control and data acquisition systems that collect data from sensors on remote equipment for use by central control systems; and the implementation of GE’s portfolio of software to integrate, visualize and provide analytics for monitoring and operating transmission and distribution assets, as well as to provide direct control of distributed resources.
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.