AEP Presentation at DistribuTECH 2018

At DistribuTECH 2018, American Electric Power (AEP) presented themselves in the technical session “Demand Response System Management at AEP.” Michael Weinstein, Technology Business Development Lead for AEP, discussed how OATI’s systems helped manage their various Demand Response (DR) programs by implementing a new Advanced Demand Response Management System, AEP’s experience during the implementation, and AEP’s vision for the future. In this blog, we will recap some key points.

The Past Challenges: AEP’s primary DR system, known as the Customer Communication System (CCS), was built on an aging platform. It lacked the flexibility for further enhancements to keep up with new programs and PJM program changes, resulting in a significant drain of time and money. The threat of security vulnerabilities due to Windows 2003 losing support was also a critical issue. In addition, AEP’s consumer-centric vision compelled them to find a system that would allow them to provide their customers access to pertinent information across multiple channels. Given these factors, AEP decided to either completely rewrite the CCS or find a vendor system.

A Turnkey SaaS Solution: AEP required a Demand Response Management System (DRMS) to manage their various DR programs as well as interface with the PJM Demand Response Market System. The interface with the PJM market was especially challenging, given the PJM market continuously goes through changes, which in turn requires the interface to be continuously updated and maintained. They needed a reliable, cost-effective system to manage their current and future DR programs with a customer portal and a five-star support model that included all software upgrades to keep up with changing PJM program rules. 

The OATI Experience: AEP is well-satisfied in their decision to choose OATI as their solution and DR platform provider. OATI was a familiar face and software platform for AEP due to their past experiences with webTrader and webDADS applications. The software solution webDistribute, along with the webSmartView customer portal, met or exceeded all of AEP’s requirements. The platform’s flexibility provided a molecular way to transition to AEP’s corporate strategy of customer-focused programs and edge-of-grid technology investment. In addition, the OATI references included experience with bringing multiple DR systems under the webDistribute platform. 

The Future: AEP plans to migrate other existing Load Management Systems into their DRMS to have a centralized system for managing DR as well as other Distributed Energy Resources. This will allow AEP to forecast the available DR of the various DR programs in one centralized dashboard and effectively manage their DR Programs. The addition of interface to the meter data management will also allow AEP to perform measurement and verifications of these programs. AEP plans to continue investing in grid modernization strategies by exploring emerging technologies such as EV charging stations load management, microgrids, and battery storage.
For more information regarding OATI’s presence at DistribuTECH 2018, email