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AEP Ohio collaborates with PUCO

Published 28 August 2017

AEP Ohio, a US-based electric utility company, has entered a settlement agreement with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to execute its electric security plan (ESP).

The ESP requires electric vehicle (EV) charging, renewable generation and distribution grid reliability.

AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer Julie Sloat said: "This agreement provides AEP Ohio customers with rate stability through 2024 and establishes a framework to allow us to support advanced services, such as EV charging stations, micro grids and renewable energy, for our customers.

"Ohio needs reliable electricity from a diverse mix of resources to continue growing the economy and to meet the needs and expectations of customers. The ESP agreement will allow us to continue investing in the electric grid to provide reliable power and help advance the new technologies and cleaner energy that our customers want."

AEP Ohio will be able to invest in infrastructure projects, such as upgrading the electric distribution grid and other measures to enhance reliability for customers. This settlement also allows AEP Ohio to develop pilot programs for EV charging station development and micro grids, funded by a new charge that will end after the demonstration projects are completed in four years.

These pilot programs will provide data and insights for AEP Ohio, the PUCO and others interested in expanding these technologies throughout the state.

A typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would see less than a 50 cent per-month increase in their bill. Detailed customer impacts will be available as part of the hearing process.

The EV charging station demonstration project will be created in conjunction with the Smart Columbus initiative. The project creates a rebate incentive program for the hardware, network services, and installation of charging infrastructure for up to 300 level 2 charging stations and 75 DC Fast charging stations.

Site owners can apply to AEP Ohio to recoup a portion of their initial construction costs. Up to $9.5 million in rebates will be available under the program, and 10 percent of the stations will be located in low-income areas.

Rebate amounts would vary depending on the type of station being built, the availability of the charging station to the general public and whether the owner is a public or private entity. Governmental buildings, apartment complexes, workplaces and others are eligible to apply for rebates.

In addition to EV charging, AEP Ohio will develop micro grid demonstration projects in areas where critical public service facilities such as police and fire stations, hospitals and emergency shelters, can benefit. Micro grids enable customers to maintain power in the event of an outage.

The settlement also provides support for the PUCO's Power Forward initiative through a rider that will enable AEP Ohio to implement future recommendations made by the PUCO.

The agreement furthers AEP Ohio's ability to participate in the development of wind and solar generation in the state through the creation of a renewable generation rider.  The settlement also establishes an option for AEP Ohio to seek approval for a renewable project where some or all of the project's output would be purchased through a bilateral contract with a retail customer. All projects will be subject to Commission approval.

The stipulation is subject to review and modification by the PUCO. A procedural timeline has not been announced.

AEP Ohio delivers electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of AEP's subsidiary Ohio Power Co. in Ohio. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power.