American Electric Power (AEP) has selected Virginia-based Vencore to pilot a continuous monitoring service of the utility's advanced metering infrastructure.Under the contract, Vencore's research arm, Vencore Labs will deliver its SecureSmart solution, a infrastructure monitoring technology for smart grid field networks in two operating companies within investor-owned electric utility AEP.

The SecureSmart solution is expected to provide a cost-effective monitoring and analysis 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 reported to be the first in the industry to explore SecureSmart as a monitoring solution across multiple advanced metering infrastructure and distribution automation systems from different vendors. Vencore claims that SecureSmart will help AEP to more efficiently investigate and diagnose recurring system operation issues using the SecureSmart's sensor-based architecture and applications.

AEP employs volt optimisation tech

In related news, American Electric Power (AEP) in Ohio partnered with smart grid solutions firm Utilidata to reduce its transmission and distribution losses.

In a press statement, AEP Ohio said it partnered with Utilidata under efforts to reduce its operational costs by lowering its distribution energy losses with the use of smart grid technologies.

The utility will use Utilidata’s Volt/VAR Optimisation technology AdaptiVolt to monitor some 160 energy distribution circuits to reduce energy losses during distribution of energy to some 119,000 customers in the company’s service territory.

The use of the technology is expected to save 235,390MW/h per annum -  equivalent to $210 million in energy bills over 15 years.

Julie Sloat, CEO of AEP Ohio, said: “This technology will provide real-time insights that allow us to improve both the quality and reliability of service for customers. We look forward to expanding this program and deploying the technology on additional circuits this year.

“This project builds upon our successful gridSMART demonstration project, which began in 2009, and will help our customers gain better control of energy use, save money, and reduce consumption.”

The news follows the selection of Utilidata’s technology by US utility firms Pacific Gas and Electric, Ameren Illinois, and Vectren. Read more...