American Electric Ohio files to extend electric security plan
AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power, has filed a proposal with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to extend its current Electric Security Plan, with modifications, through May 2024. The ESP would otherwise expire in May 2018. The proposal would continue AEP Ohio's investments to improve customer service and reliability including proactive replacement of aging equipment and aggressive tree trimming and vegetation management programs to reduce outages. AEP Ohio also will invest in a new communications system to speed dispatching of crews and restoration of service when outages occur and security enhancements to better protect distribution substations from vandalism and physical attacks. The plan also will add new, smart technologies to AEP Ohio's energy distribution network including microgrids to supply uninterrupted power to critical public safety infrastructure, electric vehicle charging stations and smart street lighting systems to support the Smart Columbus effort in Franklin and 10 surrounding counties. AEP Ohio anticipates a decision on this filing from the PUCO in April 2017. If approved, the extended Electric Security plan would increase customer bills $1.58 per month for the average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatthours each month and receiving their generation from AEP Ohio through the auction process. Overall monthly electric bills for most AEP Ohio residential customers are expected to decrease during the eight year period of the plan due to reductions in other charges.