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American Electric Power (AEP), one of the largest utility companies in the United States, has announced that it has selected Silver Spring Networks for its smart grid programs at subsidiaries Indiana Michigan Power and AEP Ohio.  Silver Spring develops smart grid solutions based upon Internet Protocol (IP) that allow for a secure and robust smart grid platform from the point where energy is generated to the point where it is consumed.

Silver Spring Networks’ IP-based smart grid applications are built around an open platform that allows for developing technologies to be easily implemented as they become available.  The smart grid innovator’s networking technology will be used to drive smart meters and supporting software developed by GE Energy.  S&C Electric and Cooper Power Systems will provide distribution automation equipment.

Both AEP subsidiaries are participating in the parent company’s gridSMART initiative where smart grid functionality is deployed over a cohesive network.  Included within the project are smart metering, automated energy distribution, and home area networking.  As a result, AEP will upgrade its antiquated power grid infrastructure to a fully-functioning “energy Internet.”

The utility will realise increased revenues through streamlined operations but consumers will benefit as well.  Consumers will have much greater control over how they consume energy plus will be able to benefit from smart appliances and plug-in hybrid vehicles as they become available.  The environment will also benefit as renewable energy sources are integrated into the smart power supply.

“AEP is one of the most innovative utilities in the country and we are honoured to assist them making their gridSMART vision a reality,” said Scott Lang, Chairman, President, and CEO of Silver Spring Networks.  “By implementing an open smart grid platform, AEP is ensuring it will be ready to meet its energy efficiency challenges for generations to come.”

Indiana Michigan Power launched a smart meter pilot project in South Bend, Indiana towards the end of last year.  The success of the project convinced AEP Ohio to select Silver Spring Networks as the AEP Ohio gridSMART smart meter scheme was extended in central Ohio.  Ultimately, AEP seeks to include 5 million homes and businesses within gridSMART by the end of 2014.

GE announced in September that AEP Ohio was purchasing 110,000 smart meters for the gridSMART project.  “We are pleased to be a part of AEP’s approach to a holistic and comprehensive smart grid model with advanced technologies working together to maximise efficiency and reliability for both the utility and its customers,” said Bob Gilligan, vice president of transmission and distribution at GE Energy at the time of the announcement.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to deliver more useable power for every kilowatt generated, while helping consumers manage their energy usage and keep their costs under control, without impacting their lifestyle.”

The AEP Ohio smart meter installations are expected to begin in 2010.

American Electric Power
1 Riverside Plaza
Columbus, Ohio, USA 43215-2372

Silver Spring Networks
575 Broadway Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

GE Energy
4200 Wildwood Pkwy.
Atlanta, GA 30339


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