AES proposes $683m investment in Ohio smart grid

  • February 27, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson

American energy utility AES has revealed plans to invest $682.7m in the second phase of a smart grid rollout in Ohio.

AES Ohio has filed its Smart Grid Phase Two plan with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), proposing to invest $682.7m in capital projects over a ten-year period following the phase one plan that ends June 2025.

The new plan will continue investments in grid infrastructure with smart technologies to provide improved system stability, performance and communications capabilities.

“We have a commitment to our customers and community to ensure the reliability and resiliency of our grid by making needed modernisation investments,” said Ken Zagzebski, CEO of AES Utilities. “With the successful deployment of smart meters and mid-line reclosers in Smart Grid Phase One, customers are benefitting from fewer outages and decreased restoration times. The Smart Grid Two plan is a critical step to an integrated grid and creating meaningful capability improvements that add value to our customers.”

There are three principal components of phase two: automation of distribution operations; grid intelligence; and telecommunications and cyber security.

In addition to improving grid reliability, these initiatives should allow AES Ohio to be ready to leverage and integrate distributed energy resources (DERs) into its grid. If approved, AES Ohio’s grid modernisation project should deliver benefits to all its customers.

The AES proposal was subject to a cost benefit analysis that shows the benefits of the proposal outweigh the cost increase and supports the investment needed for continuing grid modernisation to deliver value. With the proposed plan, AES Ohio says it will continue to have the lowest rates among the Ohio investor-owned utilities in the state. A residential customer on AES Ohio’s standard service offer using 1000kWh a month would see a $2.99 increase, or 1.78%.

The plan will now go before the PUCO to initiate the next regulatory procedural steps. A procedural schedule is expected to be provided for an order in the second quarter of 2025 before the end of phase one.

To learn more about AES Ohio’s smart grid plan, visit