Southern Company enhances grid reliability, efficiency and security through $165 million DOE Smart Grid Investment Grant

Jan 13, 2014, 10:30 ET from Southern Company

ATLANTA, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company today announced that it has completed the smart grid development efforts associated with the $165 million Smart Grid Investment Grant awarded to the company by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009. Through a combination of matching funds and additional investments, the company spent a total of $363 million to accelerate smart grid implementation and make the grid more reliable, efficient and secure.

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"As an industry leader in developing and deploying new technologies, Southern Company is committed to advancing our critical infrastructure and providing value to our customers," said Kimberly S. Greene, president and CEO of Southern Company Services. "The projects funded through the Smart Grid Investment Grant are enhancing our ability to efficiently and reliably meet customers' needs."

Southern Company received the four-year grant in 2009 to further integrate smart grid technologies into its transmission and distribution system. Using the smart grid technologies, the company can monitor and control the electric infrastructure in real time and respond quickly to existing and potential problems. In addition, the investment allows for enhanced grid efficiency management, stronger operational security and heightened protection and control devices for improved reliability.

The project has helped Southern Company and its subsidiaries avoid more than 84,900 truck trips for service calls, totaling more than 945,000 saved miles, through September 2013. The company has also seen a reduction in more than 6,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, including generation reduction, and more than $5 million in costs have been avoided as a result of the grant.

With 4.4 million customers and nearly 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company and its subsidiaries are leading the nation's nuclear renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be built in a generation of Americans and are demonstrating their commitment to energy innovation through the development of a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant. Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer and listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks. The company received the 2012 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Electric Light & Power magazine's Utility of the Year for 2012 and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at

SOURCE Southern Company