Ohio utility announces $2m budget for grid infrastructure projects

US power utility AEP Ohio announced its plans to invest more than $2 million to upgrade its grid infrastructure toward improving customer service.

In a press statement, the American Electric Power owned firm said it will invest the money towards maintenance of its grid infrastructure through to 2017.

The money will be used to fund the implementation of new projects as well as continue maintenance projects which are currently under deployment in Fairfield and Hocking counties.

The distribution line maintenance projects include replacement of overhead lines, poles and line equipment.

The utility firm will also use the budget to inspect lines and equipment, clear trees from lines as well as relocate lines for better access in restoring power during outages.

[quote] Selwyn Dias, vice president of distribution operations at AEP Ohio, commented: “Our job is to keep the lights on, and we take this very seriously.

“The projects in Fairfield and Hocking counties are part of the planned and strategic work we do every year. Our regular maintenance and repair helps us keep our grid reliable. Our strategic work allows us to do our regular work and also expand our system to serve new customers and support economic development.

The firm serves 1.5 million customers in Ohio. [Smart meters US: AEP Ohio seeks 50% hike in advanced metering charges].

Grid infrastructure modernisation

The news follows a mid-August announcement by the US city of Piqua in Ohio state that it is planning to implement an automated metering infrastructure project for its water and electric departments.

The project falls under the city’s efforts to upgrade its water and electric grid infrastructure.

The city aims to enhance operations of its departments through optimised revenue collection to be achieved from accurate water and power billing brought by smart meters.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $4.3 million. The city said it will use its $380,000 grant received from the Community Development Block Grant to fund the installation of smart water meters.

The grant is expected to cover the installation of approximately 1,200 units for residential consumers and 65 meters for commercial customers.

Gary Huff, manager at Piqua city, commented:  “The plans are to move us from the Stone Ages into modern technologies, basically.”


Image credit: www.elp.com.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.