AEP to receive federal grant to enhance grid reliability

31 October 2023

American Electric Power has been selected for a $27.8 million federal grant under the US Department of Energy's Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) programme to help improve service and build a more modern, responsive electric grid for customers across its footprint.

The grant will fund part of the cost to implement more advanced systems and new technologies that will enhance AEP's ability to reduce service interruptions and minimise the duration of outages through smart devices that optimise power delivery for customers. The systems also will allow AEP to visualise, manage and control the electric grid as new distributed energy resources are integrated into the grid.

The GRIP grant programme was created as part of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law in November 2021. The first round of funding under the programme was announced Oct. 18, 2023.

The grant supports AEP's deployment of an Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) that enhances the ability of system operators to monitor and control the grid to maintain a safe and reliable distribution network. It combines real-time distribution grid data with network model visualisation, which should improve situational awareness for operators and allow a greater level of flexibility and visibility into the grid. The ADMS tools support outage restoration, grid optimisation, fault location, isolation and restoration, switching analysis and load flow.

The Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) is part of the ADMS platform. DERMS provides visibility into the distributed energy resources that are connected to and interacting with the grid, allowing operators to plan and manage the flow of those resources on the system.

The grant is subject to final agreement between AEP and the US Department of Energy on terms and conditions.

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