Energy Reliability And Security
The U.S. electric grid is a sophisticated, interconnected network of components that work in unison to provide a reliable power supply. When one part of the system isn’t functioning optimally, a loss of power can occur. When that happens, no matter the reason, customers expect their service to be restored quickly. If it isn’t, the result may have political, regulatory, economic and social ramifications for our customers and communities that can hurt AEP far more than the damage to the electrical system itself.
Reliability refers to our ability to provide energy upon demand. We must prevent outages to the extent we can and restore power as safely and efficiently as we can when it does go out. Security refers to our capacity to protect the supply of energy, under any circumstance, from external and internal interruptions. Our ability to secure energy and deliver power reliably hinges on a variety of regulatory, economic, environmental and social factors.
Operating and maintaining the grid is more complex than ever. We face many challenges affecting our ability to maintain the existing system while also upgrading that system to meet future demands. Among these challenges are the aging of the current system, the threat of external interruption, the need for greater capacity, the difficulty of siting new facilities, new and pending environmental regulations, and covering the cost of needed investments.