Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG)


In 2010, Southern Company signed a Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), formally accepting a $165 million award to be dispensed throughout the company's four-state service territory over a three-year period. This federal funding, which is matched by Southern Company, enables us to continue our long history of investment in the company's transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure, ensuring that our robust electric grid becomes smarter, more resilient, and more efficient through the application of intelligent electronic devices.

SGIG Projects

The SGIG award emphasizes ensuring a smarter grid through upgrades to T&D infrastructure at Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power.

  • Transmission projects focus on transmission line automation and smart substations that enhance monitoring, protection and control capabilities.
  • Distribution enhancements include distribution automation, energy efficiency and fault location.

Much of the work involves installation of advanced hardware, including:

  • Automated transmission and distribution line devices enabled with SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) technology.
  • Remote monitoring devices and electronic relays in substations.
  • Integrated Distribution Management System (IDMS), which includes automatic fault isolation and service restoration.

Our SGIG projects will conclude in 2013.

Cost of SGIG Projects
Distribution Energy Efficiency Program $66
IDMD / SCADA / Fault Locating $44
Distribution Automation $83
Transmission Line Automation $20
Smart Substations $117
Total (in millions) $330

SGIG Benefits

Southern Company planned and budgeted for these improvements before applying for the SGIG. The grant is allowing us to:

  • dramatically accelerate the deployment of smart grid technologies.
  • optimize grid performance and reliability by using electronic data, intelligent devices and integrated systems.
  • minimize the loss of energy as it travels across the grid.
  • improve reliability, safety, power quality, and operating resiliency to natural disasters.

Existing Smart Grid Technologies at Southern Company

  • Virtually all of our more than 4,600 distribution breakers are SCADA-enabled. This system has been in place in various forms for more than 30 years.
  • Self-healing networks include applications to automatically isolate faulted sections on a circuit and restore service to areas that are not directly impacted by the problem. These have been in place on a limited basis for more than five years.
  • Outage Management System (OMS), a geospatial and tabular system that utilizes a dynamic electrical model that is a near real-time representation of the distribution system, has been in place for more than 10 years.
  • A Sensus Flexnet system has been deployed for Southern Company's Advanced Metering Infrastructure project. The system includes 280 tower-mounted radios to reach more than 4 million meters.


AMI/Smart Meters

Smart meters will serve as the last link of a communications connection with our customers.

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