OG&E Positive Energy program ranked top smart grid project globally

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We can now reveal that OG&E’s Positive Energy smart grid program is the top ranked smart grid project in the 2013 Smart Grid Global Impact Report.

This is followed in the rankings by two Australian projects – the Townsville Queensland Solar City project led by Ergon Energy and Smart Grid, Smart City led by Ausgrid, a leading U.S. utility project, the Yokohama Smart City Project led by the City of Yokohama in Japan, and Ampla’s Búzios Smart City project in Brazil.

The Smart Grid Global Impact Report, compiled for the first time this year, was aimed to review smart grid project outcomes, focusing on the impacts in 5 ‘pillars’ – Economic, Environmental, Consumer, Reliability, and Innovation.

According to the report, OG&E’s project is delivering well against all pillars of achievement for a brighter energy future. OG&E is enhancing the customer experience, actively reducing demand, reducing system losses and increasing security while at the same time reducing costs – all made possible by a clear overall vision of smarter grid. Their innovative and comprehensive approach to intelligently monitoring their network put OG&E at the top of the 200 projects analyzed in the report.

OG&E’s Positive Energy project was introduced in 2010 with ARRA support covering a 30,000 mile2 service area in Kansas and western Arkansas. It includes smart meters/AMI for the approximately 800,000 customers, a ‘SmartHours’ dynamic pricing campaign, and volt/var optimization technology equipped circuits. All customers have access to the myOGEpower web portal to review their consumption, and have the option of enrolling in dynamic pricing and receiving a free programmable communicating thermostat.

Through August 2013 approximately 77,000 customers had enrolled in the SmartHours program – almost halfway towards the 160,000 customer target. The 54,000 customers participating in the demand response program at the end of 2012 reduced system demand by 67 MW and saved an average $179 during the four-month summer period.

OG&E is using ABB’s Network Management DMS, the first to deploy the company’s new volt/var optimization system. Major IT improvements have also been made in communication infrastructure, web services, system integration and cybersecurity.

The project buildout period ran for 3 years to 2012, and is continuing to 2017 with the additional SmartHours enrollments and volt/var expansion (subject to regulatory approval).

Access the full report HERE

By Jonathan Spencer Jones