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IPL plans $1.2bn electric grid upgrade

Steve Rogerson
August 6, 2019



Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) wants to spend $1.2bn modernising its electric grid over a seven-year period to continue meeting the energy needs of customers.
 
The Revamp plan, submitted to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), addresses the upgrade and replacement of aging equipment, hardware and other assets, and allows IPL to provide its customers with new technology, equipment and systems. These include:

  • A self-healing electric grid that allows IPL to isolate problems automatically and re-route power around the problem, reducing the duration of service interruptions to many users.
  • Smart AMI meters and other corresponding technology that automatically let IPL know when the power is out and facilitates customer review of their electric usage online.
  • Replacing transformers, breakers, batteries and other aging equipment at substations to meet local area energy demands.
  • A foundation that allows further integration of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and distributed energy resources into IPL’s system.
“Our customers deserve reliable, seamless and efficient energy services, and IPL is committed to meeting customer energy needs now, and in the future,” said Vincent Parisi, IPL CEO. “To continue meeting customer energy needs for generations to come, it is critical that we upgrade, replace and modernise the infrastructure, technology and equipment used to provide electric service.”
 
Once the Revamp modernisation is complete, IPL customers should experience fewer outages and shorter duration of outages, improved reliability, and a more resilient system to face growing energy needs.
 
If approved by the IURC, full implementation of IPL Revamp will begin in 2020 and conclude in 2027, with a total investment of $1.2bn. If approved, this investment over a seven-year period will support an estimated 880 jobs annually in Marion County worth $62.2m in compensation per year.
 
The plan filing does not request approval of new customer rates at this time. IPL plans to file its initial cost recovery request in the second quarter of 2020. If approved by the IURC, this project will not result in an increase in IPL’s total retail revenues of more than two per cent in any year of the project.
 
Work to prepare for construction will begin as early as autumn 2019. Customers will be updated and notified of progress throughout the project, as well as impacts to their neighbourhoods as they occur.
 
IPL is a subsidiary of AES and provides retail electric service to more than 500,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Indianapolis, as well as portions of other central Indiana communities surrounding Marion County.