EEI > Delivering The Future
Edison Award Winner: American Electric Power
June 2016

​Electric power companies increasingly are looking for innovative solutions to improve the reliability and efficiency of the energy grid. American Electric Power (AEP) found a way to achieve this, all while keeping a laser focus on providing customers the solutions they need.

AEP was facing a challenge. The challenge was a need to update critical infrastructure for customers receiving power in South Texas without disrupting service. With a significant projected increase in energy demand over the next five years, taking the transmission lines out of service was not an option.

Through the innovative use of new technologies, AEP was able to deploy a solution: A complete replacement of all 240 miles of line, while in an energized state, utilizing existing structures and rights-of-way. Using a robotic arm, a hydraulically operated all-weather device, enabled workers to remove the conductors safely. The line was replaced with an energy-efficient carbon core conductor, with twice the capacity of a conventional core conductor, lowering emissions equivalent to removing 34,000 cars from the road.

By completing the project in an energized state, AEP did not need alternative generation sources, resulting in an approximate savings of more than $43 million. For years to come, this innovative update will continue to benefit customers, and increase the power grid’s operational dependability.

Congratulations to 2016 Edison Award Winner: American Electric Power.