PROVIDENCE – Utilidata Inc., a Volt/VAR optimization solutions company, has entered into an agreement with American Electric Power to “inform and advance the next generation of grid-side applications,” the company announced Wednesday.
This research and development agreement between the technology company and utility was designed to accelerate the application of digital control technologies to high value smart grid solutions.
According to Utilidata, it has already deployed its existing AdaptiVolt voltage optimization products in a number of American Electric Power territories.
Under the agreement, technical and commercial leaders from the utility will support the product development being done at Utilidata’s newly commissioned Providence-based smart grid simulation and research center.
“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,” Scott DePasquale, Utilidata’s executive chairman said in a statement.
“We are pleased that [American Electric Power] 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,” added DePasquale. “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 - the same technology that propelled the growth of the digital photography, music and communications industries – in new ways to help deal with problems faced by environment electric utilities.
“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,” Tom Jobes, director of distribution reliability planning & engineering at AEP, said in a statement.
“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,” added Jobes.