American Electric Power, Utilidata announce agreement to develop next generation of grid applications

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Oct 10, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Utilidata, Inc. announced today that it has entered into an agreement with American Electric Power (AEP) to inform and advance the next generation of grid side applications that will be built on Utilidata’s innovative digital technology platform.

This unique research and development agreement between the technology company and leading utility will accelerate the application of digital control technologies to high value smart grid solutions. Utilidata has already deployed its existing AdaptiVolt(TM) voltage optimization products in a number of AEP territories.

As part of the research and development collaboration, technical and commercial leaders from AEP will support the product development work being done at Utilidata’s newly commissioned smart grid simulation and research center in Providence, Rhode Island. The new Utilidata facility is designed to support the testing of current and future digital control technologies that will deliver superior Volt/VAR Optimization, Peak Demand Reduction and Conservation Voltage Reduction in an environment that can simulate real-world conditions on the electric grid. The collaborative approach will entail looking at new areas where Digital Signal Processing (DSP) could improve utility operations, including fault indication and integration of distributed generation, electric vehicles on the distribution system.

“We believe that the utility industry has recognized the significant value and benefit of the application of new distribution automation technologies to the evolving grid; and their impact on the delivery of safe, low cost, reliable electric power,” said Scott DePasquale, Utilidata’s Executive Chairman. “We are pleased that AEP is providing us access to their utility operations and planning expertise to guide in the development of our next generation of grid applications here in Providence. We believe Utilidata customers will benefit from this partnership that is focused on bringing innovation to the market faster.”

Utilidata is applying Digital Signal Processing (DSP) in profound new ways to deal with the dynamic operating environment electric utilities are now facing. This same technology that propelled the growth of digital photography, digital music and digital communications is now being brought to bear on solving present and future challenges utilities are facing. Utilidata’s unique approach using DSP to provide measurably better Volt/VAR Optimization, represented in its AdaptiVolt(TM) solution, is the first in a portfolio of solutions that Utilidata is bringing to market to revolutionize advanced grid management. Volt/VAR Optimization is one of the most promising areas utilities can create reliable energy savings before energy ever reaches the customer.

“Having our team provide a utility perspective to the developers and engineers at Utilidata’s innovative smart grid development center in Providence is the kind of approach that the industry needs to ensure that the next generation of smart grid products meet the requirements and standards that large utilities like AEP will need to address grid challenges over the next decade,” said Tom Jobes, Director of Distribution Reliability Planning & Engineering at AEP. “Having input and visibility into the functionality of advanced utility automation applications will allow AEP to prepare our grid for the way our customers will consume electric energy in the future.”