Southern Company Services, Inc. Smart Grid Project

From Open Energy Information

Southern Company Services, Inc., located in Birmingham, Alabama, will receive $165 million in funding to develop a smarter energy grid. The U.S. Department of Energy selected Southern Company Services, Inc. as one of 100 companies to receive federal stimulus funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[2]

The Southern Company Services’ (Southern Company) Smart Grid project involves integrated upgrades of the distribution, transmission, and grid management systems throughout their large service territory. Major efforts include automation of major parts of the distribution system, automation of selected transmission lines, and new equipment for many substations. This project centers on deployment of new distribution technologies that intend to improve power factor at delivery, thereby increasing the effective usability of existing electricity generation. This reduction in line losses may lead to the deferral of new generation capacity investments and associated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The distribution automation equipment in this project also aims to enhance system reliability through better protections and faster response to outages while simultaneously lowering cost for operation and maintenance of the system by human operators.[3]


  • Distribution Automation Equipment for 321 out of 4,706 Circuits
  • Distribution Management System
  • Feeder Monitors/Indicators
  • Automated Distribution Circuit Switches
  • Automated Capacitors
  • Automated Regulators
  • Substation Automation Equipment for 359 of 3,325 Substations
  • SCADA Communications Network
  • Equipment Health Sensors
  • Smart Relays

Targeted Benefits

  • Deferred Investment in Generation Capacity Expansion
  • Improved Electric Service Reliability and Power Quality
  • Reduced Operating and Maintenance Costs
  • Reduced Costs from Equipment Failures and Distribution Line Losses
  • Reduced Truck Fleet Fuel Usage
  • Reduced Greenhouse Gas and Criteria Pollutant Emissions


  1. ARRA Smart Grid Investment Grants
  2. 2.0 2.1 Southern Company Award
  3. Project Information Page]