Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. on Monday won the electric industry's most prestigious honor.
The Edison Award is the top award given by the Edison Electric Institute, the association of shareholder-owned electric companies whose members represent about 70 percent of the U.S. electric power industry.
OG&E earned the 2013 award for the implementation of its SmartHours program, which allows customers to adjust their electricity use to avoid higher prices in summer months. The Oklahoma City-based company was chosen from finalists by a panel of former electric company executives.
“OG&E is being recognized for its distinguished leadership, innovation and progress in advancing smart technologies to power the future,” institute President Tom Kuhn said.
OG&E has installed more than 823,000 smart meters in its service area in Oklahoma and Arkansas. It also has exceeded its targets by enrolling more than 44,000 customers in the SmartHours program, achieving a collective 72 megawatts of load reduction on peak-use days.
“By using smart grid technology and involving its customers — along with adding wind, new transmission and demand-side management — OG&E will delay the need to build a new fossil fuel power plant and also reach its 2020 goal of achieving more than 200 megawatts of annual peak-load reduction,” Kuhn said. “OG&E is executing its vision of a more energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable future enabled by technology.”
Pete Delaney, CEO of parent company OGE Energy Corp., was in San Francisco on Monday to accept the award. It is the first time the company has won the award.
Delaney thanked OG&E customers for accepting the new technology.
“We couldn't have done this without the engagement of our customers, 44,000 of whom responded in the first six months of launching our SmartHours demand management plan,” he said. “The plan brings us closer to our goal of not building any new, incremental fossil-fired generation until at least 2020.”
Edison Electric Institute said OG&E focused on putting customers in control of their electricity use as it looked to achieve its 2020 plan goal. As a result, 99 percent of Oklahoma customers who enrolled in the SmartHours program saved on their electricity bills.
American Electric Power, parent company of Tulsa-based Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, also won an Edison award. AEP was recognized for completing the 600-megawatt John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant, a coal-fired plant in Arkansas. It is the first U.S. power plant to use an advanced steam cycle, which company officials have said will make it one of the nation's cleanest, most efficient coal plants.
“The completion of the John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant represents the technological advancement that will enable the next generation of power plants to use coal with exceptionally high efficiency while producing extremely low emissions. It also reflects AEP's commitment to fuel diversity,” Kuhn said.
The $1.7 billion plant provides baseload electricity for a region that includes Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. The Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority owns a 6.7 percent share in the plant.
We couldn't have done this without the engagement of our customers, 44,000 of whom responded in the first six months of launching our SmartHours demand management plan.”
CEO of parent company OGE Energy Corp.