In 2016, the city of Columbus, Ohio won a $40 million “Smart City Challenge” grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and an additional $10 million from Vulcan, Inc. to modernize transportation infrastructure. The goals of the grant are to improve people’s quality of life, drive growth in the economy, provide better access to jobs and ladders of opportunity and enhance safety in the city. As a Smart Columbus project partner, AEP Ohio is fostering sustainability through incentivizing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, implementing one or more microgrids and investigating smart infrastructure technologies such as networked lighted controls and other power-related improvements.
The EV initiative creates an incentive program for the hardware, network services and installation of charging infrastructure for up to 300 level 2 charging stations and 75 DC Fast charging stations. The program offers incentives for site owners to install charging stations, with 10 percent of the stations to be located in low-income areas to ensure these areas are not left behind.
The company will also be installing one or more microgrids to maintain power in areas where critical public service buildings are located, such as police and fire stations, medical facilities and emergency shelters. By enhancing the resiliency of these critical public services, AEP Ohio will help ensure their continued operation when they are needed most.