Finalists announced for 2013 Edison Award

In recognition of  their distinguished leadership, innovation, and progress in advancing the electric power industry, four U.S. and two international electric companies have been nominated for Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI’s) 2013 Edison Award, the electric power industry’s most prestigious honor.

A committee of energy trade publication editors has nominated American Electric Power, American Transmission Company, NextEra Energy, and Oklahoma Gas & Electric for this year’s U.S. Edison Award, while AES SONEL and BSES Yamuna Power Limited were nominated for the International Edison Award.

EEI President Tom Kuhn praised the contributions of the finalists, saying, “Through their actions, these companies reveal the electric power sector’s dedication and commitment to innovation, reliability, and efficiency.  The Edison Award finalists exemplify the outstanding efforts that all electric companies make to ensure that our industry’s future is bright.”

This year’s Edison award, the 86th annual, will be presented in San Francisco, California, on June 10, during the EEI Annual Convention.  A panel of former electric company chief executive officers will select the winning U.S. and international companies.

Descriptions of the finalists’ efforts are as follows: U.S. Edison Award Finalists American Electric Power (AEP) American Electric Power celebrated the completion and commercial operation of the John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant, the first modern power plant of its type in the U.S. to employ an advanced ultra-supercritical steam cycle. The ultra-supercritical generation technologies use less coal and produce fewer emissions by using low-sulfur coal and state-of-the art emission control technologies. AEP successfully navigated seven years of construction, scheduling, and legal and regulatory challenges by utilizing innovative project management techniques and effective communication, negotiation, and advocacy to finish the new power plant that is setting a high standard for clean, energy-efficient, coal-based generation.

American Transmission Company (ATC) Seeking to strengthen efficiency and reliability to fast-growing suburbs within its service territory, American Transmission Company successfully completed the Rockdale-West Middleton Transmission Line Project. ATC demonstrated a strong commitment to the environment, innovation, and safety while overcoming many obstacles during construction of the transmission line project along the environmentally sensitive, highly visible, and heavily travelled Beltline Highway in Madison, Wisconsin.

NextEra Energy – No other company in the electric power industry has achieved what NextEra Energy has by coupling its expertise as the largest generator of wind energy in North America with its rigorous daily performance monitoring to commission roughly 1,500 megawatts (MW) of wind energy capacity in the United States. NextEra Energy overcame numerous challenges and exemplified its “Doing Well By Doing Good” motto in two complementary approaches to growing emissions-free generation. The company also substantially completed a massive Extended Power Uprate Project at three nuclear power plant sites that, once an uprate at Turkey Point Nuclear Station is complete in Spring 2013, will mark six nuclear units uprated in less than five years – the largest multi-site nuclear uprate project in U.S. history – yielding an approximately 700 MWe increase in net generating capacity.

Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) – OG&E successfully completed its smart meter deployment and strategically partnered with customers to better manage energy use with its SmartHours Program. The company installed more than 823,000 smart meters and exceeded its targets by enrolling more than 44,000 customers in the SmartHours peak-load reduction program – achieving a collective 72 MW load reduction on peak use days. SmartHours is part of OG&E’s goal of meeting increased demand through means other than building new fossil generation until at least 2020, and is a cost-beneficial investment for both the company and its customers.

International Edison Award Finalists AES SONEL – In an effort to refurbish and add capacity to the electricity sector in Cameroon, AES SONEL, part of global power company AES, completed an investment program of more than $1 billion.  This turned Cameroon into one of the top performing electricity sectors in Sub Saharan Africa and increased the country’s generation capacity by 51% and its transmission capacity by 38%. The investment program also reduced load shedding by 90% despite increased demand and a doubling of the customer base.

BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) – BSES Yamuna Power Limited, supplying electricity to 14 districts in India, implemented a power distribution system called DRONA and a modular integrated distribution automation system called MIDAS to improve the company’s operational performance. Acting as an aid to the control engineer, the training simulator, DRONA, helps maintain and carry out the electric distribution system requirements and also helps train new graduates about the utility’s various departments, technical equipment, and its functioning and operating processes. BYPL’s MIDAS is an automation of an 11KV/415V distribution substation that remotely monitors system equipment and locates faults in the 11 KV network. MIDAS can predict a fault in the system before it occurs and automatically notifies system operators via SMS. MIDAS is not only a multi-beneficial and economic investment, but also a key enabler toward the smart grid and modernizing BYPL’s electric distribution system.