Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Southern Company Awarded $165 Million to Advance Smart Grid Initiatives

/PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company yesterday announced that it has been awarded a $165 million in stimulus funds as part of President Obama's plan to invest $3.4 billion to spur transition to a smarter energy grid.

"As an industry leader in developing and deploying new technologies, Southern Company is pleased to be among those selected to advance this critical investment in our nation's electric infrastructure," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO David Ratcliffe. "These funds will be used to augment the company's robust investment in grid reliability, already among the nation's best, and make it more efficient and secure."

Southern Company received the grant to integrate smart-grid technology into its transmission and distribution system that can:

-- Reduce the loss of electricity as it moves from the generating plant
to homes and businesses; reducing delivery losses can have a direct
environmental and economic impact by increasing efficiency and
reducing carbon emissions
-- Better locate the area of an outage before dispatching crews, reducing
outage time for customers
-- Improve monitoring and control capabilities of the system while
enhancing proven grid reliability

For example, line devices with two-way communication will be installed to enable system operators to isolate faulted lines remotely. Moreover, some of these devices will be placed in self-healing network schemes that will automatically isolate trouble areas and then restore power to unaffected portions of the circuit, all without operator intervention.

The company will match the $165 million in funding as part of an initiative across Southern Company's service territory that spans the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.

The grant awarded to Southern Company was among the top 10 made by the administration.

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