Southern Company has reported completion of its $363 million smart grid initiative supported with a Department of Energy Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG).

The SGIG support was $165 million, with matching funds and additional investments by the company.

The initiative had five major components:

  • Distribution energy efficiency program
  • Integrated distribution management system and SCADA fault locating
  • Distribution automation
  • Transmission line automation
  • Smart substations

“As an industry leader in developing and deploying new technologies, Southern Company is committed to advancing our critical infrastructure and providing value to our customers,” said Kimberly S. Greene, president and CEO of Southern Company Services. “The projects funded through the Smart Grid Investment Grant are enhancing our ability to efficiently and reliably meet customers’ needs.”

Southern Company received the four-year grant in 2009 to further integrate smart grid technologies into its transmission and distribution system. Using the smart grid technologies, the company can monitor and control the electric infrastructure in real time and respond quickly to existing and potential problems. In addition, the investment allows for enhanced grid efficiency management, stronger operational security and heightened protection and control devices for improved reliability.

The project has helped Southern Company and its subsidiaries avoid more than 84,900 truck trips for service calls, totaling more than 945,000 saved miles, through September 2013. The company has also seen a reduction in more than 6,000 tons of CO2 emissions, including generation reduction, and more than $5 million in costs have been avoided as a result of the grant.

Southern Company has 4.4 million customers at its four retail operating companies, Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power, across 120,000 square miles of service territory.