Indiana utility files grid modernization plan

Published on July 26, 2019 by Douglas Clark

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The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) has received the Indianapolis Power & Light Company’s (IPL) plan to modernize its electric grid over seven years.

“Our customers deserve reliable, seamless and efficient energy services, and IPL is committed to meeting customer energy needs now, and in the future,” said Vincent Parisi, president of U.S. Utilities for AES Corporation and president and CEO of Indianapolis Power & Light Company, noting the effort would continue meeting the energy needs of customers. “It is critical that we upgrade, replace, and modernize the infrastructure, technology, and equipment used to provide electric service.”

Utility personnel said the plan would include a self-healing electric grid enabling IPL to isolate problems automatically and re-route power around the issue, reducing the duration of service interruptions to many customers; utilization of Smart AMI meters and other corresponding technology informing IPL when the power is out and facilitates customer review of their electric usage online; replacing transformers, breakers, batteries and other aging equipment at substations to meet local area energy demands; and creating a foundation allowing further integration of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) into IPL’s system.

If the IURC approves the utility’s proposal, full implementation would begin in 2020 and conclude in 2027, with a total investment of $1.2 billion. Over the seven-year period, the initiative would support an estimated 880 jobs yearly in Marion County worth $62.2 million in annual compensation.