- Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) on Friday announced it has filed a distribution modernization plan with the Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that includes installing 100,000 smart meters every year until they're in place for all customers.
- The AES subsidiary said its proposal aligns with PUCO's PowerForward grid vision issued last summer, and will ultimately provide more than $770 million in benefits on a net-present-value basis. The proposal calls for investing $576 million in capital projects.
- The utility is also proposing a new Computer Information System that will create a foundation for new flexible rates, drive operational efficiencies and provide an "open-architecture that can adapt to future markets."
At a time when smart meter deployments are slowing and some utilities are taking a more targeted approach, DP&L's proposal is ambitious and calls for all of its customers to have advanced metering infrastructure in place.
While the near-term system improvements will be significant, the utility stressed in its application that extensive grid modernization is essential for achieving the state's longer-term energy vision of the distribution grid as an open-access platform.
Ohio regulators' PowerForward roadmap calls for a burst in innovation that will improve service to all customers, while keeping costs down and maintaining the delivery of safe and reliable power. DP&L told PUCO that it plans to create a self-healing grid that will automatically isolate problems and reroute power so customers may not even notice an interruption.
"Enabling infrastructure and technologies lead to the development of the grid as a platform with secure open access for relevant parties," DP&L said in its filing with state regulators. "As this foundation is put in place, it naturally enables enhancement of customer choices on the application side, allowing customers to engage as they desire."
In the near-term, DP&L sees a half-dozen major customer benefits to its proposal, including:
- personalized engagement, including optionality, at their convenience;
- differentiated reliability to meet individual energy needs;
- seamless integration of distributed resources onto the grid;
- an increase in EVs for public and private use;
- open access to the grid and grid data, including for third parties; and
- open markets to navigate the rapidly evolving set of energy choices and solutions.
Over the long term, however, the utility said customers can expect further benefits.
"Some items to deliver the company's vision were identified as relatively nascent, and/or further out with respect to implementation timing," Lisa Krueger, president of the AES business unit responsible for U.S. utilities, said in testimony filed with the commission.
For those solutions, Krueger said, DP&L plans to "let them further develop while the company implements more foundational solutions."
Those further-out solutions could include localized asset enhancement, scaling up distributed energy resource management systems, dynamic pricing tools and advanced analytics.
DP&L said its modernization proposal will save customers millions, as well as providing societal benefits.
If the plan is approved by PUCO, the utility said it expects to begin installing new equipment within a month. And DP&L anticipates that all upgrades will be installed within ten years, with most being installed in the first seven years of the plan.