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AEP Joins Launch of Congressional Smart Cities Caucus

by on April 2, 2018
On March 13, members of AEP’s Smart Columbus team joined in the launch of the Congressional Smart Cities Caucus at a meeting in Washington, D.C. The caucus includes members from both parties who believe that smart technology will make our communities more sustainable, resilient, efficient, livable and competitive.

(Story by Scott Blake)

Cities around the nation are watching Columbus’ efforts under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City grant program. They are looking to see how the city is advancing its transportation network and transforming the way it uses technology to improve the lives of residents.

AEP is a major partner in the Smart Columbus program, investing $175 million in smart enhancements to Ohio’s energy infrastructure. These include electric vehicle charging, renewable energy options, smart meters, smart street lighting and a number of distribution grid projects, like micro-grids and DACR.

On March 13, members of AEP’s Smart Columbus team joined in the launch of the Congressional Smart Cities Caucus at a meeting in Washington, D.C. The caucus includes members from both parties who believe that smart technology will make our communities more sustainable, resilient, efficient, livable and competitive.

They have identified four areas on which to focus their efforts: Mobility, Communications, Workforce, and Sustainability. These topics were discussed by a panel of experts from around the country, including Ryan Houk, Smart City Program Manager with AEP Ohio, and representatives from the Edison Electric Institute, Global Futures, Uber, Verizon and Qualcomm.

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke opened the meeting and spoke of the need for stakeholder engagement when talking about a Smart Community framework. With AEP and other corporate backers, community groups and city leadership, Columbus has established a broad range of support for their program. Rep. Clarke used this as an example of how other cities might build their own coalitions.

Following Rep. Clarke’s comments, David Owens, former EEI executive vice president, led a panel discussion. The group talked about cyber security and data privacy, sustainability, technology advancements. They also discussed how apps such as It’s Your PowerSM, can provide customers with better information about and more control over their electricity use.

Additionally, electric vehicles were discussed as a way to reduce emissions. The panel also talked about the opportunity for using EVs as a source of electricity. Energy companies would need to be the connection point for a setup like that to work.

In his closing remarks, Owens repeated the need to align our transportation and energy infrastructures with the goal of addressing the social, economic and environmental challenges communities face while establishing a sustainable energy future. Discussions within the caucus will continue through the months of April and May. AEP team members will remain engaged in these conversations and look forward to taking on a leadership role on emerging topic.

From → News From AEP

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