FirstEnergy Proposes $626 Million Ohio Grid Modernization Plan With Smart Meters and Two-Way EV Chargers

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Three FirstEnergy utilities have filed a four-year, $626 million grid modernization plan with the Ohio Public Utilities Commission that includes installing 700,000 smart meters and equipment to reduce runtime. and the frequency of power outages. announced Monday.

The filing covers Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison, and builds on a previous grid modernization plan approved by regulators in 2019. Approximately 704,000 smart meters were deployed as part of this first modernization effort , the utility said.

“This has allowed us to further improve service reliability across our Ohio service area,” Sam Belcher, senior vice president of FirstEnergy Operations, said in a statement.

As a result of these proposals, customers will see improved reliability and energy efficiency opportunities, Belcher said. The benefits of FirstEnergy’s new proposals are estimated to “exceed program costs by nearly $280 million in today’s dollars,” he said.

The new plan also includes the installation of automated equipment on nearly 240 sections of the distribution network “that can automatically isolate problems, minimize the number of customers affected by an outage, and quickly restore electrical service,” FirstEnergy said in a statement. his announcement. It also provides for the installation of voltage regulation equipment on nearly 220 network sections.

FirstEnergy has requested approval to offer $50 rebates for smart thermostats and pilot programs to support the adoption of electric vehicles and the installation of storage batteries.

FirstEnergy also said it is testing the use of larger capacity residential and commercial EV chargers that have the ability to shift charging loads away from peak demand periods and can facilitate two-way energy flows so that energy can be returned to the grid.

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