Southern Co. uses smart grid grant to boost grid reliability

Southern Co. completed the smart grid development efforts associated with the $165 million Smart Grid Investment Grant awarded to the company by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2009.

Through a combination of matching funds and additional investments, the company spent a total of $363 million to accelerate smart grid implementation and make the grid more reliable, efficient and secure.

Southern Co. received the four-year grant in 2009 to further integrate smart grid technologies into its transmission and distribution (T&D) 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 Co. 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 carbon dioxide emissions, including generation reduction, and more than $5 million in costs have been avoided as a result of the grant.

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