PSO Launches New Program
CLOSE MEASUREMENTS: Owasso’s Mayor Doug Bonebrake discussed the benefits of the new gridSMART system during a recent press conference.
Public Service Company of Oklahoma (), a subsidiary of American Electric Power, recently announced a pilot project to convert its electric distribution system in Owasso to new gridSMARTsm technology. The gridSMART system is designed to improve reliability and safety, and provide customers with unprecedented information and control over their energy usage and electric bills.
All of PSO’s nearly 13,200 customers in and around Owasso will be included.
“PSO’s gridSMART program represents the next generation of technology we will use to serve our customers,” says Stuart Solomon, president and chief operating officer. “The smart grid technology is a game-changer that will provide customers with more information and control over their energy use and electric bills than they’ve ever had, and it will significantly improve the reliability of our Distribution System, which means fewer and shorter power outages. We are very excited about our project in Owasso.”
The pilot project involves installation of new, digital Smart Meters at customers’ homes and businesses, along with a two-way, secure wireless communications network on PSO’s facilities. also will install automated power restoration equipment on its distribution lines.
This new system is designed to provide a number of benefits.
Improved reliability will mean that there will be fewer power outages and shorter duration of outages that do occur. Plus, the Smart Meters will pinpoint outage locations so repairs can begin faster.
On a voluntary basis customers may choose to have a digital display device installed in their homes and businesses, which will show their current energy use and its cost, along with their usage history. Such information can help consumers take steps to cut energy use and possibly reduce their electric bills. Today, customers can only determine their energy usage after the fact through their monthly bill.
can respond faster to service requests, such as service connection and disconnection, because these operations will be performed remotely.
Smart Meters are read remotely, so meter readers will no longer need to enter customer property every month.
As an added benefit, all customers included in the Owasso gridSMART pilot project will have access through PSO’s website to a link where they can view their energy usage in greater detail, including 15-minute intervals.
Work to install the Smart Meter communications network on PSO’s facilities is expected to begin this fall, with installation of Smart Meters at homes and businesses to start late 2010 or early 2011. Conversion work is expected to continue into late 2011.
Total cost of PSO’s gridSMART project in Owasso is approximately $17.9 million.
To fund the project, obtained an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act low-interest loan worth $8.75 million from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. The loan was made through the US Department of Energy’s State Energy Program. also has been collecting $2 million per year from customers in rates since PSO’s last base rate case order in February 2009 to help fund the program.
For more information, visit www.psooklahoma.com.